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Friday, January 13, 2012

[Guest Post] How to Host a Soup Tasting Party

To round out the soup posts from the previous week and a half, Deanna of Mirabelle Creations has graciously offered to give you some tips on hosting a soup-tasting party!  Deanna is the maven of entertaining and always offers inspirational ideas on throwing parties and events.  A soup-tasting party is a great way to bring friends together during these cold winter months.  Make sure to read to the end...Deanna has offered us some free downloadable files to help make your party easier to host!  Thanks, Deanna!

**********

Hello readers of The World in My Kitchen!  I'm Deanna, of Mirabelle Creations, and I'm thrilled to be here sharing some party ideas during Soup Week.  Over the past couple of weeks, you have been treated to some wonderful soup recipes from a few of my fellow Kentucky Food Bloggers.   Now that you have all of these great recipes, it would be the perfect time to host a Soup Tasting Party, a fun, casual way to warm up a cold winter night.   I have a few tips for you to make any Soup Tasting Party successful.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Cream of Walnut Soup
Mini Soup in Disposable Cups
First, you will want to have at least three or four varieties of soup for tasting.  If you plan on making all the soups, you can make some of the batches ahead of time and freeze them. Soups generally freeze easily, so are the perfect make-ahead dish.   If you plan on hosting a potluck, you can ask each guest to bring a pot of their favorite soup.  Since you will have several varieties of soup, you will need multiple serving dishes for the soup.  Guests will be tasting several soups, so smaller portions are a good idea.   Small cups of soup are also convenient because guests can carry them around and spoons aren't necessary.   If you have numerous shot-glass sized glasses, that would be a perfect serving size.  Also, my go-to individual serving container is actually mini glass candle holders.  I purchase mine at Walmart for $0.60 each.   For example, if you are serving three types of soup for a party of eight, you could buy enough glass cups for under $15.00.  Another option is clear plastic cups, which you can find in a variety of sizes at any party supply store.   Small cups of soup are also convenient because guests can carry them around and spoons aren't necessary.

Sweet Potato Soup in a Mug
If you want a more substantial serving size, you could gather all the mugs you have.  Since soup tasting parties have a casual feel, there's no need to have all your mugs match.   In addition, you may want to have bowls on hand in case someone wants a larger portion of their favorite soup.

Soup Toppings
A few days before the party, you can make a list of any toppings you might need for the soups you are serving.  Gather up a few small coordinating serving dishes for the toppings.  I love how the toppings in this picture were served out of small jars.  I have a collection of several different sizes of inexpensive mason jars, which would be perfect for soup toppings.  If your guests are bringing their own toppings, you might want to have a few extra containers on hand for any additional toppings.

Mini Pumpernickel Grilled Cheese with Pickles
Mini BLTs
Mini Italian Clubs
Mini Crudites
Snack Mixes
In addition to soup, you may want to provide a few finger foods.  Different types of mini sandwiches go well with soup. They can also be made ahead of time.  Crudit├ęs can be served in small cups, with dip poured in the bottom of the cup.  This will eliminate the need for a plate, but will allow guests to mingle and not have to stand right by the dip.  Another great accompaniment for soup is a crunchy, salty snack mix.

Chocolate Stout Cupcake
Finally, for dessert, a good plate-free option is the cupcake.  A Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting is a hearty cupcake that would pair well with most types of soup.  

Soup Tasting Card
Soup Tasting Labels
Soup Recipe Card

I've also created these FREE, downloadable files for you to print for your Soup Tasting Party.  The first is a Soup Tasting Card, so your guests can take notes on their favorite soups.  Second is a sheet of fancy labels that can be used to label the types of soup and/or toppings.  Finally, I have created a recipe card, so guests can take home the recipes for each soup. 

Thank you so much for having me, Mindy. You can check out my other entertaining and party ideas at Mirabelle Creations.


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42 comments:

Candy January 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM  

I love this idea! Soup is one of my favorite things to cook and eat. I fixed a couple of different soups and a platter full of sandwiches at Christmas a couple of years ago and it was such an easy, relaxed way to enjoy the day.

Angie's Recipes January 17, 2012 at 2:55 AM  

A soup tasting party! wow That sounds so fun!

ahealthypassion January 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM  

what a fun & creative idea i'll have to keep this in mind for a future party!!

JC Marc,  February 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM  

Just catching up with my emails and saw this gorgeous post! What a great idea. I entertain frequently and I love this new twist. Thank you for a beautiful idea and your photos and creations look yummy. I am definitely trying these recipes.

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