Make-Ahead Soup Buffet Party

  • 01 of 10

    Everything You Will Need for a Soup Buffet

    Families gathering for lunch
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    Nothing beats a savory, simmering soup on a cold, wet day. Set up this make-ahead soup buffet with lots of ladles, napkins, spoons, and small, sturdy plates. Baskets of bread or mugs filled with breadsticks make wonderful centerpieces and are a nice chewy or crunchy accompaniment.

    If you offer your guests large mugs, they can easily handle them sitting around your living room. The mug handles will keep their hands cool, and some sturdy spoons make dining a breeze. Big napkins are a must and think about putting out some trays that your guests can place on coffee tables and side tables. Use crock-pots to keep the soups steaming hot—just set the slow-cookers on warm and stir them from time to time.

    A fun twist is to offer lots of garnishes, like cheese popcorn, croutons, goldfish crackers, chopped fresh herbs, and grated cheese. Sour cream, pesto, and salsas make great toppings, too. Add delicious bread, a fresh, crisp salad, and an impressive dessert and you have the makings for a fun and relaxing soup buffet.

    Feel free to mix and match these recipes for an easy soup buffet party.

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  • 02 of 10

    Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    Broccoli cheddar soup
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    No one can resist the combination of broccoli and cheese, and this creamy, easy-to-make soup is the perfect version of this family favorite. Combine simple ingredients such as onion, flour, half-and-half, vegetable broth, and carrots with broccoli and cheddar, then let it simmer on the stove. Soon you will have a cozy soup full of flavor that most everyone will love.​

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  • 03 of 10

    Wild Rice Chowder

    Wild Rice Chowder
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    The beauty of this wild rice chowder is that it can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated—or you can make it way ahead and freeze it. Lots of wild rice, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and corn blend with broth and half-and-half to make a thick and savory chowder that is a party in your mouth. You can add cooked ham, chicken, or meatballs to make it even heartier. This rich and comforting soup goes great with onion scones or bread rolls.

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  • 04 of 10

    Barley Vegetable Soup

    Crockpot Barley Vegetable Soup
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    This thick and hearty vegetarian barley vegetable soup will be a hit with both the vegetarians and meat-eaters in attendance. With barley, tons of veggies, and sweet potatoes, this soup is so satisfying, no one will miss the meat—or think about how it is a heart-healthy food, too. This recipe calls for placing almost all the ingredients in a slow cooker and letting it go for eight hours—this kind of cooking could not be easier.

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  • 05 of 10

    Meatball Soup

    Easy Crockpot Meatball Soup
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    Talk about simple—this recipe calls for just five ingredients and a slow cooker. Fresh or frozen vegetables will work well, and feel free to add any of your favorite vegetables to this easy crockpot meatball soup. You can make your own homemade meatballs or use store-bought frozen for a quick and easy meal. It will be delicious either way. 

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  • 06 of 10

    Pumpkin Soup

    Pumpkin soup
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    This pumpkin soup is rich, creamy, and so easy to make. The addition of corn gives this soup an unexpected but delicious twist—as well as a pleasant texture. By swirling in a little store-bought or homemade pesto and sprinkling a bit of Parmesan cheese at the end, you will take pumpkin soup to a whole new level.

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  • 07 of 10

    Onion Scones

    Onion Scones
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    You may be more familiar with scones filled with dried fruits and sprinkled with sugar, but savory scones are ​a wonderful alternative to bread at the dinner table or a buffet. Make these tender and flavorful onion scones ahead of time, then wrap them in foil. Heat them in the oven at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes just before you are ready to set out your buffet. 

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  • 08 of 10

    Toasted Garlic Bread

    Toasted Parmesan Garlic Bread
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    This crisp garlic bread can be served at room temperature making it perfect for a buffet. Use as much or as little garlic as you like, but just be sure to use fresh garlic. The mixture of butter and olive oil on French bread creates the perfect base for the chopped garlic, making a melt-in-your-mouth version of this type of bread that is favored alongside Italian dishes.

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  • 09 of 10

    Spinach Salad With Apple Vinaigrette

    Spinach Salad With Apple
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    A spinach salad is a nice addition to the soup buffet, offering a bit of refreshing green to the table and palate. The finely chopped apple in this recipe sits in the dressing (which is made of sugar, apple cider vinegar, minced onion, and dry mustard) and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just drizzle over spinach before serving, and top with bacon ​or nuts if desired.

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  • 10 of 10

    Easy Tartufo

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    End the feast with a cool treat to provide contrast to a hearty, warm buffet. Tartufo is an Italian frozen dessert, an ice cream ball surrounding a dried fruit center that is coated in melted chocolate. These tartufos have the added surprise of a crushed cookies layer. Serve a couple of these sweet Italian ice cream balls in a dessert dish, topped with some whipped cream, and sprinkled with cocoa powder.