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My sister and I throw an annual Soup Night for neighborhood friends, an evening that's casual and low-key. We keep it very simple by serving two kinds of hearty soups in crock pots. Everyone helps themselves and it's always a big hit. We accompany each soup with corn bread and crackers, grated cheese, and of course beer and wine!
I picked up a large mug tree many years ago and it makes a terrific centerpiece on our island. My neighbors know the drill by now, and they eagerly grab a mug and ladle soup, first one kind, then a taste of the other.
We set out decorative signs with the soup names. This makes it easy for guests to choose their soup preferences. Simple, yet lovely, plastic soup spoons from a local party store look like the real thing.
Our first year consisted of a wonderful Brunswick Stew and Tomato Basil Soup. And the second year was White Chicken Chili and Potato Leek Soup.
This year's menu was Italian Bean (without the bacon) and Creamy Sausage and Tortellini. We didn't intentionally decide to offer one meatless soup, but each year it just turned out that way. Our vegetarian neighbors do appreciate it, though!
We believe in giving credit where credit is due, so here are links to this year's soup recipes. Bon Appetit!