View Full Version : I'm hosting soup night...
05-12-2004, 02:26 PM
I am hosting my first soup night May 24th. Being the newest neighbor, I figured why not invite the entire neighborhood (26 houses) over for a little get-together. DH is already teasing me about having soup night in May, but I donít care Ė it will be fun. So far I am looking forward to it and am not overwhelmed. I have received a very positive response from everyone. In my invite (email) I told people they need not bring anything, but people have said they will be bringing salad/bread/etc.
Anyhow, for Easter I made the EW Leek and Asparagus Soup and it was a hit with everyone so I am planning to make it again, just doubled. It is delicious, healthy and very seasonal, IMHO. I am planning to make a second soup, but canít decide which. I have been brainstorming and am going in all different directions.
So far, my top options are (in no order):
Tortellini, Spinach & White Bean
Cheesy Chicken Chowder
Vegetarian Split Pea
I guess I want to go with something that is both different enough from the Leek & Asparagus but not too opposite. I want to try to have something for everyone, but realize that might be kind of hard. I do want to stick with relatively healthy (all of the above are LF recipes).
For the kids some coworkers suggested having PB sandwiches and cheese sandwiches, cut into wedges. I thought I might also buy some goldfish crackers.
Any suggestions for which soup, kid stuff, or general soup night tips?
05-12-2004, 02:38 PM
How's the fresh corn in your area? Too early? there's a wonderful Corn Chowder recipe that would be great for soup night!
05-12-2004, 03:19 PM
Yay! I am all for inviting random neighbors over. I think it is a great idea, and I think you'll get lots of credit for bringing the neighborhood together.
That said, I think you'll need a heck of a lot more than 2 double recipes of soup for 30-50 people! I love the idea of Leek and Aspasgus. I'd do something with meat....maybe Tortilla Soup? (There are lots of recipes on the board; I particularly like RebeccaT's). I would finish it off with something hearty but not creamy; maybe the Tortellini and White Bean or a black bean chili or something. People will try multiple soups, so you will need more than one serving per person of total soup, but not quite one serving per person of each soup.
I wouldn't get into sandwiches for the kids (kids eat soup!), but I do like the idea of goldfish crackers. I would also get some basic bread and do a tossed salad, because you never know what people are going to show up with.
Sounds like a lot of fun!
05-12-2004, 03:37 PM
I am looking for a good Minestrone recipe, would you please post yours?? TIA!!!
05-12-2004, 04:28 PM
First off, best of luck to you on your soup night. Let us know what you end up making and how everything goes that night. I have wanted to do this, too, but it just has not happened yet for one reason or another(I know, always an excuse:rolleyes: ). Anyway, I have to agree with the comments above. If there are 26 families in the neighborhood, and most/all are going to attend, you'll probably need more soup than 2 double recipes. I would also go with something a little "heartier" for one of the soups as the first soup sound much lighter. The tortilla soup was a good recommendation as is a nice meat or veggie chili. I particularly start craving more spicy meals as the weather gets warmer. However, if there are kids, make sure there is an option for them, too. I'm not sure how many kids would go for the leek soup or a spicy soup/stew, so you might want to do a simple chicken noodle soup as well. I guess the possibilities are endless!! Another favorite of ours that makes alot is the African Chicken Peanut soup.
As an aside, your soup list has my taste buds tingling:D . If you get a chance I'd love to see some of those soup recipes, particularly the EW recipe. Thanks so much and good luck!!!
05-13-2004, 06:44 AM
Since it is almost summer, perhaps a cold soup like a gazpacho (sp?) would be nice. Not sure if that has as broad an appeal as the others, but I would find it refreshing! I would also have some veggies and dip, and fruit out for people to nibble on.
Sounds great to me! Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
05-13-2004, 07:47 AM
How about CL's brocolli cheese soup? that will be a hit with everyone especially the kids and also the Chicken Corn Chowder? I love that one!
05-13-2004, 08:47 AM
I have had hits with cheddar chicken chowder for the kids on soup night. When kids are coming I also have lots of cheeses and cold cuts. Then they can have a sandwich of their liking if they are a bit picky.
05-13-2004, 09:08 AM
Hi! I agree with the tortilla soup. I think you will need something with meat. I also have a great tomato/spinach soup from Rachel Ray that I make a lot.
05-13-2004, 10:17 AM
I love the idea of Soup Night and like another poster, have always wanted to do it, but never got around to it. This Fall, though, I am DEFINITELY doing it!
I read an article way back (not sure if it was CL) ... there was an author that had Soup Night every year, for about 20 years. I think it was once a month, same day, open invitation to whoever wanted to come. In the beginning, she asked people to bring their favorite bread or wine, and she served the soups. She said the most fun thing was she never knew who was going to show up, so they always had interesting mix of conversation topics! It definitely inspired me to start something like that for us. We're adding on to our dining room, which hopefully will be done for the fall ... a perfect way to start a new tradition.
Can you post your leek soup recipe?
I have a Cheeseburger Soup recipe that's hearty, exceptionally simple to make and yummy, if you're interested.
05-13-2004, 02:00 PM
Wow guys Ė great ideas Ė and so many of them. Thanks!
Okay, I am going to go with Jenís suggestion for the Rebeccaís chicken tortilla soup. The reviews are amazing and I think it will be a nice contrast to the leek & asparagus (posted below). I may go ahead and do a third soup: the cheesy chicken chowder, the broccoli & cheese or the african peanut are contenders, but if I donít make them this time I will do it in a later month. For some strange reason one of my guests (who I like a lot) responded and said she would bring a pot of soup. I donít think she quite understood that *I* would make the soup, so I am not sure what to do with that.
Also, you guys are so right that I need a lot more soup. I guess I wasnít thinking Ė thatís why I *love* this board :)
I think I am going to do gazpacho next month, along with one of the above hot soups.
Pammela Ė sorry but I didnít have a particular minestrone in mind. I have made a few over the years but none have really stuck in my memory as being great. I do keep track of what I make (with ratings) so I will try to remember to go back through my notes for you.
Ann (amcleod) made this for supper club and I loved it! Thanks to ElinorC for posting it here on the board.
Leek, Asparagus & Herb Soup
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Soups And Stews
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks -- trimmed, washed
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1/2 pound new potatoes -- peeled, diced (1 2/3 cup)
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 pound fresh asparagus -- trimmed, in 1/2"pieces
2/3 cup snow peas -- stemmed, in 1/2 dice
3 tablespoons fresh chives -- divided
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley -- chopped
2 teaspoons fresh chervil -- or more parsley, chopped
2 cups 1% milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in asparagus and peas; simmer, covered stirring 2 or 3 times until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon chives, parsley, dill and chopped chervil (or parsley). Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
4. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add milk and bring to just below a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of the remaining chopped chives and a sprig of chervil (or parsley).
Yield: 6 servings of 1 cup each.
"Eating Well Magazine, Spring 2003"
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 146 Calories; 4g Fat (23.0% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 406mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat.
05-13-2004, 02:42 PM
I think the idea to have something else for the kids is a good one. I have two very picky eaters. I would have cold cuts, goldfish and some fruit (separated if at all possible--i.e. not fruit salad).
I think tortilla soup and the asparagus one are great ideas. You could either do a third, or just make more of the two and be sure to have bread and salad in case people don't like them. I think three soups would be night, but in my opinion, you are really doing a lot of work then!
05-13-2004, 02:50 PM
By the way, if anyone wants some of my other favorite soup recipes mentioned above, let me know.
This recipe is always a hit with kids and adults. I would definitely suggest this as your second choice.
Cheesy Chicken Chowder
2 bacon slices
1 pound skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 3/4 cups diced peeled red potatoes
2 1/4 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% low-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sautť 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.
Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon.
Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
CALORIES 306 (22% from fat); FAT 7.5g (satfat 4g, monofat 2.2g, polyfat 0.6g); PROTEIN 25g; CARBOHYDRATE 33.7g; FIBER 2.9g; CHOLESTEROL 58mg; IRON 1.6mg; SODIUM 376mg; CALCIUM 193mg;
05-13-2004, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by catharine
By the way, if anyone wants some of my other favorite soup recipes mentioned above, let me know.
Me!! Me!!(wildly flapping hands in the air!!) . I love soup! I eat it all year long, so any favorites you're willing to share, I'll be thankful and willing to try!:) And that Leek soup looks great. I'll copy it, and definitely give it a whirl. Thanks again.
05-13-2004, 04:47 PM
Just wanted to pop in to say that I love your idea and I'm sure it's going to be lots of fun! The two soups you're making sound great...(I've tried Rebecca's Tortilla Soup and it's awesome - also, to keep everything lowfat as you'd originally planned, you can cut way back on the oil - I did and it was still wonderful!). I think either the Cheesy Cheddar Chowder or the African Chicken Peanut soup would be perfect for a third soup. They're both delicious!
05-13-2004, 05:03 PM
Hi, I just wanted to say that I had a soup night and made the:
Sausage, Swiss Chard Soup and the Potato, Spinich and Tomato soup from this board and got RAVE reviews. The next time I probably won't make the two together for the chard and spinich were alike as far as veggie type. However, the chunky vs broth base and meat vs no meat was a good contrast. Have FUN!!
05-19-2004, 09:44 AM
Okay Ė I am getting set for soup night (on Monday) and am really looking forward to it. I figure Sunday will be a shop and cook day (and Iíll be recovering from a girlsí night out). I am going to triple the Leek & Asparagus, Tortilla and Tortellini/White Bean soups. I am going to do cheese sandwiches, goldfish, and maybe some fruit.
Question: Do you guys recommend white wine for this? A combination? I figured I would hit TJís - any specific recommendations?
Anyhow, here are the recipes I promised.
Crockpot Clam Chowder (Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cookbook)
2 6.5 oz cans minced clams
2 cups peeled potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 10 3/4 ounce cans condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups water
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cold water
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled (I used turkey bacon, but found it really wasn't necessary)
1. Drain clams, reserving liquid. Cover clams, chill.
2. In crock pot, combine reserved clam liquid, potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in potato soup and 2 cups water.
3. Cover; cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat 4-5 hours.
4. If using low heat, turn to high heat setting. In a medium bowl combine nonfat dry milk powder and flour, gradually whisk in 1 cup cold water. stir into soup. Cover; cook on high-heat setting 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.
5. Stir in clams. Cover; cook 5 minutes more. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon and paprika. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Per serving: 268 calories, 14g prot. 43g carb 5 g total fat (2g sat.), 49mg chol 735mg sodium, 841 mg potassium
This is one of those soups that tastes even better the next day. I think French dark green lentils make the most attractive and delicious soup, but any lentil will work.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 cups finely diced onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced carrot
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups water
1 cup dried French dark green or other lentils
6 cups chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, celery, carrot, and bay leaves; saute for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, salt, and minced garlic; sautť 1 minute. Add 6 cups water and lentils; bring mixture to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer mixture for 25 minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach, parsley, vinegar, mustard, and pepper; cook 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls; top with cheese.
Tortellini, White Bean, and Spinach Soup
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic -- minced
2 cups spinach -- coarsely chopped
2/3 cup water
16 ounces navy beans -- drained
14 1/2 ounces vegetable broth
14 1/2 Ounces no-salt-added whole tomatoes -- undrained and chopped
14 1/2 ounces artichoke hearts -- quartered
9 ounces cheese tortellini -- uncooked
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, seasoning, and garlic; sautť 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and next 5 ingredients (spinach through artichokes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Add tortellini; cook until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.
Source: Cooking Light- 11/97
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
Pressure cooker version of split pea soup for vegetarians. Smoky flavor added using chipotle peppers. Makes 6 servings.
Printed from Allrecipes, Submitted by Lura
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup dried split peas
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle
chile pepper [I used ancho chili pepper b/c that's what I had]
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a medium-size pot of salted water to a boil, add orzo and cook until al dente. Drain well.
2. In a large skillet, saute onion, celery, garlic, and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes.
3. Place vegetables, vegetable broth, peas, thyme, chile pepper, salt and pepper in a pressure cooker. Cover. When pressure cooker reaches full pressure, cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat. Add cooked orzo and serve.
4. Note: If you would like creamier soup, puree soup in a food processor or blender. Add additional broth to bring the soup to the consistency you desire.
05-19-2004, 10:06 AM
my cousin did this for one of her dinner parties and folks just loved it:
CREME VICHYSSOISE GLACEE
4 leeks, the dark green tops discarded
and the leeks split lengthwise,
washed well, and chopped coarse
(about 2 1/2 cups)
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 russet (baking) potatoes, peeled,
diced (about 3 cups) and
reserved in 4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
1 cup heavy cream
white pepper to taste
thinly sliced fresh chives for garnish
In a kettle cook the leeks and the onion in the butter, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened. Add the potatotes with the water and the salt and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Add the milk and the half-and-half and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring. In a blender, puree the mixture in batches and strain it through a very fine sieve into a bowl. Stir the cream and the white pepper into the soup and chill the soup.
This recipe makes about 11 cups, serving 8 to 10.
05-19-2004, 12:04 PM
Catherine, I think you've got a stellar menu there. I would offer red wine, white wine, and beer (but don't overbuy...I doubt people will drink much on a Monday night), since soup is so full of flavors that most people will just drink what they want, rather than pairing their wine with their meal.
Also, it depends on your crowd. Last weekend I had 8 people over for dinner, and not a single person drank a single glass of white wine.
05-19-2004, 12:10 PM
Thanks, Jen. I knew I could count on you for a helpful reply ;)
Any specific recommendations for wine/beer. I don't drink and really don't know much about this stuff. Any favorites on the inexpensive side?
05-19-2004, 12:26 PM
I would get the wine at Trader Joe's. I like the Argenta Malbec (3.79 a bottle...) for a red, and maybe a Savignon Blanc for a white? (I haven't bought a lot of white from TJs...I bet someone else has a better answer). I'd pick a nice "middle of the road" beer, too. Yuengling, or Amstel Light would fit into that category at my house.
If you have an idea of the final adult head count, I can give you an idea of how much to buy.
05-19-2004, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the recipes Catharine. They look yummy and so does your menu. Let us know how things go Monday.
05-25-2004, 08:14 AM
Soup night was a big success! I made the three soups: tortilla, leek & asparagus and tortellini & white bean. I tripled the recipes. [Note to self: buy some bigger soup pots.] I did all of the cooking on Sunday and put the pots in the fridge overnight. I got home a bit early yesterday and started reheating everything on the stove. My neighbors seemed so impressed that I made all of the soups. No big deal around the CL BB, but I guess people just donít cook these days.
Folks started arriving at the designated time and brought some very nice additions. Lots of wine, but also a homemade pizza, a huge salad, a dish of spaghetti, some hummos and toasted pitas, and a couple of desserts. I couldnít have planned it better myself. There were about 20 adults and 10 kids. Fewer than I was expecting, but a good number.
Everyone pretty much stayed in the kitchen, despite there being tons of space in the family room, living room, dining room and deck. It was a great night and people really appreciated the opportunity to get together. DH and I were really glad to get to know our neighbors a little better.
The soups were a hit, but far and away the winner of the night was the Tortilla Soup. Even the kids seemed to love it. Thanks for the suggestions, guys! Speaking of the kids, the goldfish were a great thing and the kids loved it (and I had forgotten how great those things are). Having run out of time, I arranged slices of bread and cheese for make-your-own sandwiches. But people didnít quite get that (and I didnít say anything) and they just randomly picked up slices of bread or cheese and ate them. Oh well. No one starved and everyone seemed full and happy.
Anyhow, that is the short version of my review. Oh, Jen, the Malbec wine was incredibly well liked. Thanks, again.
I think I am going to do this again, but maybe on a bi-monthly basis. I am a bit worn out Ė I did this yesterday and had a dinner party for 12 on Saturday. I am ready for some R&R this holiday weekend. I have tons of leftovers, so no need to cook this week.
05-25-2004, 05:07 PM
Glad to hear this was a success. You are quite ambitious, Catharine. Even bimonthly is quite an undertaking! I'm hoping to do this sometime soon, too (when I get up the courage). Your review has renewed my inspiration again, but I think I may wait until fall. Perhaps we'll do the neighborhood barbeque first over the summer.:)
05-25-2004, 05:57 PM
Catharine--thanks so much for posting your review of Soup Night. Your thread really captured my imagination and I was so interested in how it all went. Now I'm going to go look up that Tortilla Soup recipe. Thanks!
05-26-2004, 06:48 AM
I am glad you both are considering soup night. I am really glad I did it and that I had this board for moral support :)
Here is the Tortilla Soup recipe:
6 tablespoons vegetable oil [I used 3]
8 corn tortillas, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock [I made broth using Penzey's soup base, then added 1 tsp of soup base to the pot]
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 to 6 cooked chicken breast halves, shredded (about 2 cups)
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro, and onion. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat. Garnish with monterey jack, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips
Serves 6 (1.5 cup servings)
5 WW points with reduced oil, not counting garnish
I found it here. (http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=31015)
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.