Beat the Mid-Winter Blahs With a Soup Club

by Neal Kielar, Tastemaker in Residence

Winter is officially over in about a month, but it often seems farther away as the mid-winter blahs set in. You can breaks the blahs by creating some of your own excitement by organizing a pot luck get-together with a twist.

I call it Soup Club, and the idea is so simple to host that it’s everyday genius. Steaming bowls of soup are the main course, with everyone contributing a favorite to share.

Why Soup Club?

  • Soup can be easy or complex to make, but just about everyone can pull off something decent
  • The menu will be diverse because guests bring favorites in their own unique style (no two chicken soups are the same)
  • You get to break bread and sip soup – with some of your favorite folks without all the huge prep time and upending of your kitchen
  • Soup is a casual meal that can be enjoyed over time, and it heats up nicely if it gets cool on the trip over
  • Hot soup is also the perfect winter meal in northern climates, but even the south and southwest get chilly at night this time of year

The ingredients are especially simple for the host. You provide:

  • A venue for the gathering
  • An invitation with a simple menu request: bring a pot of soup that you make yourself with enough to share among others
  • All the complements to the meal, like a salad, bread, beverages and dessert
  • If you want, you can make a pot of soup, too

Soup challenged? Here are some diverse soup recipes from Spirited Table Tastemakers in Residence.