Most of us have heard of cookie exchange parties. I've always thought they're a great idea but for some reason I've never actually attended one.
But look what I discovered in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. A soup exchange party! This I would participate in. I'd even organize and host a party like this. Who wouldn't want a freezer stocked with half a dozen hearty soups for quick heat-and-serve dinners during the busy holiday season?
It's pretty simple:
- The hostess mails invitations to her friends and includes labels so each guest can label her soup containers.
- Each guest (and the hostess) makes a large enough batch of her favorite soup that each person attending the party receives at least a four-serving container.
- Each guest brings a cooler filled with frozen containers of her soup and recipe cards to go with them. She also brings one container that isn't frozen for sampling.
- The hostess heats the sampler soups and serves them with warm bread and cherry cheesecake for dessert. OK. The cherry cheesecake wasn't in the article but it should have been. Right?
I think six people would be a nice size for a soup exchange party. But even 2 or 3 friends, or a dozen, would be nice. The hostess should be sure all her guests know how many people are attending so they know how many containers of frozen soup to bring.
I can't think of an easier party to host. The guests bring dinner!
Here's the recipe for the bread the hostess in the article served to her guests. She also gave a package of the basic mix and the recipe to each guest as a parting gift.
CHEDDAR-HERB BREAD MIX
BASIC MIX (place in a clear plastic bag):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried cilantro or parsley
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
(Basic mix may be stored in resealable plastic bag or container for up to a month.)
INSTRUCTIONS (to write on attached recipe card):
One package basic mix
1/4 cup butter
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X4X2-inch loaf pan.
Place basic mix in a bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese.
Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Add to crumb mixture all at once. Stir quickly with a fork to moisten. Spred in prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaf out onto wire rack; cool completely.
Makes 12 servings.
Article by Mikhael Romain; Photos by Phil Harvey; Produced by Paige Porter