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Life of the Party: Fall Gatherings with Soup - by Elizabeth Morse
posted: Nov. 01, 2019

Life of the Party header


Fall Gatherings with Soup
One of my favourite things to do on Halloween is to have friends and kiddos drop by for something hot and savoury. I thought how much fun this would be after football games, or really anytime you'd like to casually entertain and have plenty of time to visit with pals.
I have this triple crockpot/warmer that is perfect for such a theme (I picked it up on Amazon for less than $50). What I do is make a different, hot and satisfying soup or stew for each well. Then, I set out all the "fixins" so guests can make a bowl that suits them exactly. Think of it as a soup bar.
I love to offer creamy potato, tomato bisque and chicken chowder. Serve shredded cheddar, Parmesan and jalapeño jack cheeses. Then, fresh herbs: scallions, basil and cilantro. Finally, the true embellishments: crumbled bacon, garlic croutons, toasted pepitas and corn relish, sour cream, Tabasco, hot cornbread and dinner rolls or even a stack of grilled cheese sandwiches. So much fun to see everyone loading up their mugs/bowls and best of all, it's self-serve, so you can enjoy the gathering, too.
Here are two of my favourite soups for cold weather:


Creamy Potato Soup
3# Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
1/2# bacon, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
5 cups chicken stock or broth
1 large onion (yellow or white), chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup sour cream
A few dashes of Tabasco, to taste
Fry bacon over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, removing to a plate lined with paper towels when browned (reserve the bacon to use as a garnish). Add the chopped onion and butter and continue cooking over medium for about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and stir for about a minute, then whisk in flour. Constantly whisk for another minute to combine.
Add remaining ingredients (except potatoes) and continue to whisk while bringing the mixture to a boil. As soon as it reaches a slow boil, reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
At this point, you can remove (carefully) about half the soup to a blender and process until smooth. I personally prefer to use my immersion blender and give the whole thing a few pulses right in the pot. Let your personal preferences for chunkiness be your guide.
Let the soup simmer a few more minutes (10ish) before serving.
Pro Tip: When re-heating, be sure to stir constantly so the milky soup doesn't scorch your pan.


Tomato Bisque
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium-sized carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, lard, with leafy bits if you have them
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 large can of whole tomatoes in juice (28 oz)
1 cup stock (I use chicken or veggie)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, as needed
Heat butter and oil in a soup pot or dutch oven. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute, stirring so garlic doesn't burn.
Add tomatoes, stock and spices. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Puree soup in a blender (again, I use an immersion blender for this step and leave a few chunks of tomato for texture.)
Add the heavy cream to the soup and serve.
Pro Tip: This is excellent with croutons and Parmesan, but also really good served in a toasted bread boule.
Do you have a favourite soup recipe? Send it to me and I'll give it a whirl!


Elizabeth Morse, owned the Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple for close to 20 years. She is a graduate of IU, Hoosier Chef, Food Writer, Wine Guru & Advanced Master Gardener who believes in supporting all things local. Check out her blog: www.schlepicurean.com. Email her at elizabeth@broadripplegazette.com




elizabeth@broadripplegazette.com





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