Soup’s on! When the weather turns cold, gather friends for a cozy night in and serve a heartwarming buffet of savory soups.
A soup spread is an easy entertaining option. Make three or more soups to provide something delicious for everyone, including an option for the vegans in your group. Set the table with a collection of smaller bowls and mugs so guests can try different soups.
Create an appealing tabletop using various textures, heights, and colors for visual interest. Russel Wright’s midcentury classic American Modern china in chartreuse, teal, and grey along with copper and wood pieces create a warm color palette for a winter get-together. A table runner made with seed sacks is a textural and graphic alternative to a more formal tablecloth.
Vintage Vera napkins in a rustic pattern are wrapped around plain colored napkins. A squirrel planter is an imaginative way to serve breadsticks.
Can’t choose just one? Make a soup flight by gluing canning jar lids to pieces of barn wood. Place cups full of soup samples on the lids.
Make sure your buffet has a variety of tastes on offer. Give these flavorful soups a try. For heartier fare, include chilis, stews, or chowders.
CHICKEN WILD RICE SOUP
1 (32 oz) container low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
½ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
½ cup Finely chopped shallots
½ cup butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half and half
1 precooked rotisserie chicken
Remove meat from rotisserie chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth and water. Add wild rice and shallots. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes (or until rice is tender). Once the rice is cooked, there will be some additional broth – do not drain.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour, salt, seasoning, and pepper.
Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.
Gradually stir in half and half with the butter/flour mixture and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add mixture to the saucepan with
Add chicken. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, for at least half an hour. Do not boil.
This soup can be made a day ahead and reheated before serving.
SQUASH APPLE SOUP
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium butternut squash
4 apples, peeled and chopped into roughly 1-inch pieces
Vegetable stock (enough to cover)
2 Tbsp heavy cream (replace with soy milk for a vegan version)
1 sprig rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut squash in half and place in a baking dish. Cover with 2 Tbsp oil and bake in 400° oven for 45 minutes or until soft. Let cool.
In a large pot, heat 3 Tbsp oil and add onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Add apples, cook for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Use a large spoon to remove squash from rind, cut it into chunks, and add to pot. Pour in vegetable stock (enough to submerge all ingredients). Add a sprig of rosemary and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove rosemary and puree with an immersion blender. Add cream & season to taste.
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup diced celery
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup sliced carrots
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup kernel corn
1 cup chopped tomato
salt and pepper
2 tsp chopped chives
48 oz chicken broth
Saute onion, garlic, celery, and chicken in olive oil until onions are soft. Add to stockpot with carrots, beans, corn, and broth. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and the chives. Bring to a boil and simmer about 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in tomato and heat through.
Offer tortilla strips or chips, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, diced avocado, and sour cream on the side to immediately turn this recipe into chicken tortilla soup.
If you’d like to include a fourth soup option, cheat a little and head to your favorite deli or heat up a purchased soup base with a few add-ins to make it your own.
Provide toppings on the table to add to any of these soups. Options include:
Pepitas or pistachios
Fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, chives, and thyme
Photography by Chris Hennessey
Produced by Brenda Wegner
© Caruth Studio