Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares a few “soup-er” ideas.
In honor of National Soup Month why not host a soup party? It would not only be easy but is a perfect party to warm you up during the cold winter weather.
• Create your own “soup can label” as an invitation. Add party information on the label and actually wrap around a can of soup as part of the invite. A fun touch would be to make a nutrition label on the invitation with fun party information. Use the download label and use your computer to add your own specific party information.
• A cute invitation idea would be to actually put the specific party information inside a soup can. Use a safety can opener (that cuts from the side of the can, just under rim – Pampered Chef makes a good one) so the top (or bottom) of soup can be removed. Wash and dry can and place party invite inside can. Carefully glue top back onto can and attach party label that states they must open the can to get details. A can opener must be used to access invite. This is fun!
• Attach a creative soup related item to an invitation such as a soup spoon, a vegetable, dry soup mix seasoning, etc. Make sure to include the word “souper” as part of the invite such as “souper party” or “we will have a souper time,” etc.
Click HERE to download a free “Soup Label” invitation. Just print it out, cut it out and wrap it around a can of soup. A quick and clever invitation that will set the stage for your gathering.
Open documents using Microsoft Word
Set margins to ‘Normal’ setting (Top: 1″, Bottom: 1″,
Right: 1″, Left: 1″)
• Cover tables with quilts or fleece to give a warm comfy look and feel. A quilt could also be used just on the serving table if desired.
• Use cooking pots, bowls, ladles, cookbooks, fresh vegetables, spices, etc, to set up a simple focal display and centerpiece on the serving table. Soup bowls and a cooking pot could be used as a container or “vase” for a bouquet of herbs or veggies. Stacking serving bowls and mugs can also add to the décor.
• Use a winter scarf as a table runner.
• Place silverware in new mittens.
• Search thrift stores for unique soup bowls. The variety would make a fun display and each person would have their own unique bowl.
• Wrap napkins with a ribbon and tuck in a sprig of herbs.
• Decorations can be simple. You mainly want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere…crackling fire, nice music, etc. If you live in a more temperate area, an outside party around a fire pit would be perfect.
• A buffet where guests serve themselves works great for this type of party, especially if it is an open house.
• Serve a good variety of unique and interesting flavorful soups. Try something new! Make the soups from scratch.
• Serve several types of soups keeping them in crock pots to keep them warm.
• Have sturdy bowls or mugs for each guest.
• A fun soup is to heat broth to pour over chopped veggies. Simply have a variety of chopped veggies to choose from and the guest pours the hot spiced broth over the veggies they chose.
• Make sure to place food at different levels on your serving table to add interest and make the presentation attractive. The display can be very simple.
• Use different types of bread as an edible centerpiece. Add some cheese and simple fruit pieces among the bread. Cut the bread in interesting ways.
• Serve soup in bread bowls.
• Coordinate a bread for each soup served. For example a thick cornbread served with a chili or a rosemary herb bread with a chowder. This would be a fun way to try different types of gourmet breads along with unique soups.
• Have fun and creative toppings for soups as appropriate. Tiny shaped crackers, unique cheeses, tortilla strips, chopped chives, etc.
• In additions to breads, salads and fruit are good items to serve at a soup party.
• A fun idea might be to set up different serving stations for each type of soup. This would depend on amount of guests, space and how many soups are being served.
• Guests could be asked to bring their favorite soup to share – make sure they bring the recipe.
• Make small name cards to place in front of soups and other food items on the buffet table.
• With invitations to the soup party ask each guest to bring a favorite ingredient for a vegetable soup. Provide the broth and then add the ingredients brought by each person. Your soup will be different each time!
• Have a soup exchange. This type of party would be like a swap where everyone brings a set number of containers of frozen soup and everyone swaps and goes home with a variety of soup to freeze. Check out this website for some information: http://soupswap.com/news/
• Play an alphabet game. A fun game is to use abc macaroni. Place macaroni in bowls. Give each person a bowl of macaroni and a black piece of felt or a dark placemat. At the word “go,” each person takes a soup spoon and scoops a pile of macaroni out of the bowl. They have 5-10 minutes to make as many words (three letters or more) out of their scoop of letters. Give points per word. To make it harder, only give points if no one else has made the same word. Do this as many rounds as desired.
• You might consider dying bread bowls different colors to use as serving bowls. You could give a prize to whoever had a certain color of bowl. Another take on this would be to wait until everyone has their soup and then give prizes depending on the type of soups each person chose to eat.
• A fun soup party for a younger crowd (or those young at heart!) would be to read the story “Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown and add veggies brought by each person. Add an actual (clean) stone to the pot and whoever gets the stone wins a prize. Check out this link: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=14719
• Consider asking guests to bring a can of soup to donate to a food pantry.
• Play board games as part of the activities at your soup party. Check out this link for more information on having a game party: http://studio5.ksl.com/?sid=5087480&nid=71
• Send home everyone with a disposable freezer container filled with soup. Make a cute paper crafted wrap and tag.
• Give everyone a small booklet or copies of favorite soup recipes. Make sure to include those soups that were served.
• A nice favor might be a packet of dry soup mix or soup spice.
• A multiple dry mixed bean soup mix would be easy to put together and inexpensive. Package in a cellophane bag with a cute topper and soup instructions.
• A fun favor might be a soup recipe attached to a soup ladle. Check out dollar or discount stores for inexpensive ladles.
• You could make personalized soup bowls for each guest to take home. Use permanent glass or ceramic paints, glass etching or other methods.
ONLINE EXTRA: Alisa’s Favorite Chili
This is easy and yummy. I serve it at a lot parties and everyone wants the recipe. The enchilada sauce is the unique ingredient.
3 lbs. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans (15 oz. each) Ranch Style Beans*
2 cans (20 oz. each) enchilada sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
Brown the ground beef and chopped onion together. Drain any grease and place mixture in a large cooking pot. Stir in beans, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin (add more seasoning to taste if desired). Simmer until thickened. Serve with grated cheese and bread. Serves 8-10.
Note: Ranch Style Beans are a brand name of baked beans that are found easily in most grocery stores.