Q&A With Maggie


The idea of making soup for 20 or 30 people seems overwhelming. Any suggestions?

  • Make your first soup something you are already familiar with. Save experimentation for your own family; they will love you no matter how it turns out.
  • Choose a recipe that you can make ahead and refrigerate, or at least make some of the steps ahead. Most soups taste better the second day anyway.
  • Choose a recipe that can stay simmering on the stove without harm. Soups with a cream/milk base can be tricky in this regard. Noodle soups have another problem: with long simmering, some noodles can turn to mush. (Try orzo; it holds up well.)
  • In case more people come than you estimated, have some last-minute fillers on hand: more  broth, another can of tomatoes, an extra can of black beans, etc.  (However, many hosts I interviewed said some version of this: “We’ve never run out of soup. Somehow it always works out.”)
  • If you don’t have a large stockpot, borrow one or two slow cookers. Some neighborhoods go in together and purchase two commercial-size stockpots from a restaurant supply house, and the pots travel from house to house.
  • Make cleanup as easy as possible. Many groups ask folks to bring their own bowl and spoon, so the host is not stuck with a huge pile of dirty dishes. Others use disposable bowls and spoons.
soup night
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