Soup for a Group; I'm looking for soups that can be made ahead and held for 4-6 hours before serving
We're hosting a group on a Sunday afternoon and planning Soup for Supper afterward. For logistical reasons, I will not have kitchen access until serving time; our open kitchen will interfere with the planned musical program. I am seeking ideas for several, 4-6, soups that can be made ahead and held - either in CrockPots or low oven(s) - for hours without significant loss of quality. I don't want them to be all creamy or all meat or all anything. I would like a nice mix of ingredients and textures. Garnishes can be made ahead and held in the fridge or counter. I am blanking on ideas and need your help.
So far, I have thought about some of these:
Butternut Squash-Sweet Potato
Fresh Pea & Split Pea
"Cream of Green" (our name for vegetable soup which varies w/ ingredient)
Clam & Corn Chowder
Black Bean w/Sherry
I have discarded:
Shrimp Bisque (I think the shrimp will toughen with the time involved)
Asparagus (I fear the asparagus will be very overcooked)
Egg Drop (everything will be overcooked)
I am looking forward to basking in the brilliance and great ideas of the CH community. I seem to be brain-dead on this one.
We often do an informal soup smorgasbord for large groups. Our standard trilogy is:
Vichyssoise (either plain or with broccoli pureed along with the potatoes)
Chicken tortilla soup
Its a nice variety of textures and flavors. I'd think that all 3 would hold just fine for hours at low temperature.
Have you considered boeuf bourguignon? Everything up to the oven time can be done ahead of time and it can be refrigerated. Then you just need to pop your dutch oven into the oven for 4ish hours.
I made the cauliflower soup from The Essential Pepin last night, and it was fabulous; the curry flavor was very subtle. I wasn't expecting much, just wanted to use up some cauliflower; my husband generally eschews anything cauliflower. We both loved this. It's super simple, I think it would hold well, and it would add a bit of variety.
If you're interested I'll paraphrase how to do it.
Sure--I just posted this on the WFD thread.
In 2 T. of a neutral oil (I used canola) in a lg. saucepan, saute 2 c. sliced onion and cook until they begin to just caramelize (CM: the onions cooking this long is a key, I think, to the deep flavor here--although Pepin directs you to saute for only 2-3 minutes). You then sprinkle 2 T. flour and 1 tsp. curry powder over the onions, and mix well. (I cooked this for 2-3 minutes.) Stir in 2 c. each of water and hicken stock (veg. if a vegetarian version is decided) and s & p to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Then add cauliflower (I used a largish head that I had already steamed, but Pepin does not call for the pre-cooking; the cauliflower can be cooked directly in the soup), cored, and broken into florets. Bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook gently for about 30 minutes (or until cauliflower mashes easily against the side of the pan).
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor. (I used my immersion blender--note: if you make a lot of pureed soup and don't have an IB, put one on your wish list!) Return soup to pan. Stir in 2 T. unsalted butter and 1/2 c. heavy cream and reheat gently. (For those who may not want those added fat calories, you could reduce those amounts--or leave them out altogether. I tasted it w/out--not as rich or quite as delicious, but still thick and very tasty). Just before serving, sprinkle chopped parsley over the soup. (I forgot about the parsley and skipped this step). Serves 6.