Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I Love--Soup Bar recipe that feeds 15+

So I love, love to entertain. The themes, the grocery shopping, the evites ... it's all very exciting.

One thing I struggle with, however, is what to feed everyone.  Remember how easy it used to be to throw a party when you were a teen?  Pizza, popcorn, chips and pop.  Wa-la!

It's not so easy anymore.  Now you have to think about who's vegan or vegetarian, who's gluten-free, who's sugar free, who has a nut allergy, who is lactose intolerant, and who eats only kosher.  I could go on and on.  Really, I could.

It is no problem to address these food preferences one at a time but what do you do when you need to address them all at once?

Case in point: Pax's dedication on Feb. 14, 2010.

Dietary preferences to be considered:

  • kosher/all organic
  • gluten-free
  • vegetarian/vegan
  • lactose intolerant
  • nut allergies
What I generally like to do for big parties is have some sort of bar: taco bar, baked potato bar, pizza/pasta bar ... but I found those ideas didn't really work this time.

Instead, I had a soup bar!  The premise--everyone fills their bowls with veggies, grains, and/or meats of their choice, pours a delicious vegan broth over it, and tops off the goodness with extra seasonings and cheeses.

The broth recipe easily feeds 15 but I wouldn't hesitate to double or triple it!  On the other hand, if you want this just for a small family, I'd half the recipe.

Ingredients:
12 cups vegetable broth
6 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced organic tomatoes (read the label to make sure they are gluten free)
3-4 t. chili powder
3-4 t. garlic powder (or 4-5 minced cloves)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Directions:
Throw everything into a pot.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the flavors start to blend.

Filler:
Now the fillers are the sides that people spoon into their bowls prior to putting the broth in.
Here are some fun sides (remember this is enough to feed 15+ people so make less or more as needed)

  • chopped broccoli/cauliflower
  • 4-6 green, red, yellow, or orange peppers--seeded and chopped
  • thawed: corn, peas, carrots
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • chopped onion (1 large)
  • chopped celery
  • sliced black olives
  • 4 cooked, diced potatoes
  • 4 servings (1 cup uncooked) brown rice, cooked
  • 1 lb. whole grain pasta (I used mini-penne), cooked
  • 2, 14 oz cans drained black beans
  • 2-4 c. cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1/2 lb, thinkly sliced ham
  • 1 pepperoni stick, cubed
  • 1 lb. browned Italian sausage
  • 1 lb crumbled bacon
  • 1 lb. browned hamburger

Toppings:
Once the broth is on, have these extra toppings out for guests to use at their discretion.

  • 2 cups each shredded cheeses: parmesan, mozzarella, swiss, cheddar, pepper jack
  • Chives
  • Sour cream
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Oregano/parsley/basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Paprika
  • cumin
Set up:
Have a long counter set up in this order:
Bowls
fillings
broth
toppings
spoons/napkins/drinks

Serve with:
A large salad or raw veggies in dipping sauce.  I also made a batch of rolls (but this didn't help the gluten-free friends much).  Don't forget dessert (we went with brownies!)

How to make the soup:
One more time.

  1. Get a bowl
  2. Add fillers
  3. Ladle on soup broth
  4. Top with cheese and seasonings.
Sample Soup Combos:


Pizza soup:
onion, peppers, pepperoni, sausage, black olives, pasta and broth.  Top with mozzarella cheese and oregano.

Vegetable soup:
Onion, celery, corn, peas, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, brown rice and broth. Top with parmesan.

Taco Soup:
Onion, ground beef, black beans, celery, and broth.  Top with cumin and pepper jack cheese.

Overall, this recipe went off without a hitch.  Guests raved.  I loved how easy it was to put together (really, open a bag of frozen corn, put in a bowl. Done).

I'll be using this recipe again and again. I LOVE it!

4 comments:

  1. I would have NEVER thought of doing something like this...what a great idea! And it does sound sooo easy. I can't wait for an opportunity to try it out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool idea! One question - do you need to steam some of the veggies like the broccoli or green peppers?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amy--let me know what you think if you use it!

    Sarah--I used frozen broccoli which is, in general, a bit mushier when de-frosted so I didn't steam it. I didn't steam the green peppers either because I like the crunchy texture. Great questions!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fantastic idea! I would have never thought of this. I've done what I call a "soup bar" before but it was just three or four different kinds with some available toppings. This is much more fun! Hmmm...now to think of an occasion to have it! :)

    ReplyDelete

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