How to host a soup dinner party

The greatest things about hosting a soup party: Dinner can be ready in 20 minutes and the clean up is minimal. Doesn’t get much better than that and besides being easy it’s also fun. Whether you are hosting a soup party for guests or just your family, everyone is going to have fun selecting their favourite soup and toppings to go with it.

Is this something you are already doing? Similar to taco night, am I right? Because what is this really? Preparing two soup options – that’s right, let’s get a bit fancy and do two soups, why don’t we? One could be a stewy, rich, chunky ol’ soup, and the second maybe a lighter, brighter, creamy vegetable soup. We can make the creamy soup creamy without the cream (creeeam!), to make it lighter of course, and I’ll show you a great alternative that’s also dairy free, so suitable to vegans and lactose intolerants, too!

Let’s start with toppings

In small bowls, organise a few of the following:

nuts – almonds, pistachios and some pumpkin seeds. You can toast them on some olive oil, or just dry with a pinch of salt in a non-stick pan. If you like, add sesame seeds too, they’re crunchy, fragrant, delicious and just pull the whole meal together when you add this in the end!

crisps – tortilla chips, corn chips, popcorn, croutons (that you can whip up from stale bread so those don’t go to waste either) even potato crisps. Yes, that’s right, we will soak them! Now if you like yours super crunchy, add these gradually throughout the meal. I don’t like mine soggy either, so my trick is I crack some up to smaller pieces and add those to the vegetable soup to get some texture going, and as I’m eating, I’ll add some dry, spoon by spoon.

savouries – grated cheese, sour cream and fried onions. Gosh, go for onion rings if you fancy!

Now comes your soup

My favourite is a sweet potato soup, and it couldn’t be easier:

Peel and chop 2 medium sweet potatoes and 3 medium red potatoes.

Peel a carrot and chop that up too.

Sautee a red onion and a clove of garlic – both chopped – on some olive oil, salt & pepper to your liking, then add the potato-carrot mix and a teaspoon of sweet paprika.

Add water to cover your veggies.

At this point I also added a vegetable stock to make it tastier.

Boil your soup for 20 minutes, or until your veggies are soft.

Blitz in a food processor or as I only have a hand-held mixer, I used the blender/blitz extension in the actual pot the mixture was made in – less cleaning up!

Now add the secret ingredient – coconut milk! It’ll make your soup creamy, without making it too heavy or dense in calories.

Another great soup option is an easy bean soup, because it goes so well with tacos, sour cream, the popcorn, cashews, even pumpkin seeds – so the whole thing basically! We used washed canned red beans and started with garlic, bell pepper and onion. Dice the vegetables, mince the garlic and throw in a few dried bay leaves for good measure. If you like spice and a little heat in your soup, you can prepare the following cajun mix:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Sautee your veggies.

Add the beans, sprinkle a tablespoon of your cajun mix in – save the rest for later, you can sprinkle it on chicken, eggs, popcorn, only your imagination is the limit.

We like to pop some chorizo in also. Make sure it’s not too hot though, as it might just tip the whole thing over the edge.

Add water to cover, and a chicken stockpot, and simmer away.

If you fancy, add some rice as well. If you’d like to keep it crunchy, go with the above toppings selection.

And that is it – you’ve got yourself a soup dinner. Fun to do with kids, but great to do it on your own as well if you feel like treating yourself to something nice.

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