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Sep 21, 2010 12:29 PM

first course, appetizer or soup?

I'm serving a 5 course dinner this weekend, and I'm not sure what to serve first. Soup or app?
In terms of place settings, soup bowl will be on top of small plate (for app) and medium plate (for salad). Dinner plate on bottom. Appetizer is hot: smoked trout ravioli with gruyere white sauce. Soup will either be roasted beet or pumpkin (still undecided..)
I can of course pull top plate with bowl, and serve in either order...but which is quote on quote "proper"?
In terms of prep, rav's may be easier to start the night with, since they require more effort plating and I can give more attention to this first. Soup will just be held warm, so this will be an easy transition between courses. Am I overthinking this!!??? help!

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  1. App first, I I think. You can plate the soup in the kitchen - no need to put the bowl on the table.

    1. If it's a chilly evening hot soup would be better at the start; warms you up for the rest of the meal.

      I serve soup in cappuccino cups as it can be filling and spoil the rest of the meal.

      1. If you ask appetizer or soup first, people will say appetizer.

        If you ask veggie soup or fish pasta first, then I would say fish pasta.

        I think it ultimately comes down to the size of your pasta: If you are serving a small portion of it, amuse/canape-sized, then it will come first. Otherwise, it goes after your soup.

        1 Reply
        1. If this is a formal dinner and you wanted to serve it Emily Post-like formal, you'd serve your appetizer first, then your soup.

          Otherwise I'd go with whichever order you feel suits your menu best.

          I'm with souschef on this, I'd likely go with the soup first if its a chilly day. I too have served soup in cups when its cold out. In my case, I've greeted guests w a hot cup of soup once we've taken their coats. The nice thing about a cup is that its easy to manage if you're walking around mingling.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            I love the soup cup mingle idea for a chilly day! I dont' feel it will be chilly though, 7 pm should still be low to mid 60's here saturday. I will save that idea for next time.
            thanks for great idea!

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              You gotta be kidding, I would die if someone shoved a cup of soup in my hand as soon as they took my coat.

            2. I would think the soup would go first. Your appetizer sounds substantial enough to be a first course. If it's more of a tiny amuse-sized thing, you could serve it first, but I guess I think an amuse really only works in a restaurant setting, as a show-offy sort of promo item; for dinner guests in your own home I don't see the point.