Monday, January 31, 2011

Soup. Soup. Soup.

What happens when you make some soup and open up your home to friends and family?

That's what we were aiming to find out when we hosted our first Soup Night in the winter of 2007.  Interestingly enough, the concept was a raging success.  So, we're here to share our secrets.

The concept is simple. Take 3 parts soup, invite friends and family over and ask that they bring something to pass if they are so inclined. Add a cold Sunday evening. Open a bottle or two of wine. Stir in some conversation and laughter. Allow to simmer until everyone is deeply satisfied.

Once the event is over, it's time to do a little cleaning, finish the last few sips of wine and reflect on how blessed you are for having such good people in your life. Believe us. Any work involved is completely worth a couple of hours spent in the company of great friends.

We hosted our first soup night of 2011 this past Sunday. And boy, oh boy was it a good time.

The regulars came back with a vengeance -- colleagues from Peef's old workplace, a dear high school friend who we haven't seen in years, and even a few fantastic new-comers. Chris, from Milwaukee Brunch Reviews, joined in on the fun. We were privileged to host former farm intern/blogger, Neil, from stream of consciousness. He brought his girlfriend Sarah, another locavore, and we had a great time chatting about food like old friends. Now, it's possible that the threat of getting buried under 2 feet of snow in two days is enough to motivate people to get out while they can. But we would like to think that the idea of sharing some soup and warm conversation would be enough motivation for anyone even on the best of days.

The three soups this month consisted of an Italian Bean soup (chock full of vegetables & good stuff),

Tuna Chowder (separate post and recipe to come),
and the ever-popular Smoky Sweet Potato Chowder.
If soup night is nothing else, it's the perfect ending to a weekend -- or better yet-- the perfect way to start a long snowy week.

Twenty-four inches of snow in 48 hours? Bring it on!

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Want more? Read Lo's latest ruminations at FOODCrush, her Milwaukee Magazine blog.


  1. the last two look especially amazing!!!

    I need to make soup this weekend.

  2. All the soups were very delicious! I usually prefer my veggies in soup to be a small dice size, yet really enjoyed munching on a large piece of romano bean in the Italian soup. Such a treat.
    The people and conversations were delicious as well. Thanks L&P!

  3. Reading your post made me want to be hanging out in your soup kitchen enjoying the friendships. I can only imagine how much fun your get-together's are! I'm a soup maker at heart, especially when it's minus 12 outside (the current temp here in Golden, CO). It's supposed to be minus 21 tonight. I'm making a big pot of soup today, no doubt about it. I have a half-written blog post about soup and the book Love Soup. It's not a book review, more a story to go with a recipe simply because soup is such a good comfort food and as you so eloquently suggest -- it brings people together.

    So, you make 3 big pots of different soups? And then ask people to bring side dishes (like salads, desserts, etc.)? I'm going to try this. Wish you guys were closer. I need a soup party mentor. =)


  4. What fun! Sounds like you guys are about to get hit with a big one, we're lucky we only got 6" this time

  5. The soups were all so good! I loved the Tuna soup, but then again, I am a HUGE fan of casseroles, especially Tuna. The Italian Bean Soup was also very good. Even the Italian green beans in them helped add a crisp freshness to the bowl.

    Thanks so much, again, for inviting me! I had such a great time!

  6. That sweet potato chowder looks great. I should have a soup night. I have a big container of homemade stock in my freezer right now and a bunch of odds and ends of carcasses and veggies in the freezer waiting to be made into more stock right now. Being snowed in his a good excuse. Too bad I'm snowed in with a bad hip!

  7. Oooh the sweet potato chowder sounds perfect on a day like today :) Glad you had a fun soup night.

  8. I have a slightly new obsession with soup so actually this all sounds perfect to me. Especially teh sweet potato chowder. Where has that been all my life?

  9. I had an AMAZING time. All three soups were simply fantastic. I was surprised that I loved the Italian so much. Very flavorful and fresh. I also LOVED the Tuna. Best tuna casserole I've ever had. :)

  10. Love the soups, especially when we get a bit of Mr. Winter down here! I'm looking forward to the tuna chowder!

  11. I've hosted a chili feed before, so this might be my next event - love the idea. And the Smoky Sweet Potato Chowder sounds absolutely amazing!


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