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Warm Up this Winter with a Winter Soup Potluck

Helpful tips for hosting a winter soup potluck for friends and neighbors

Party Decorating & Planning Ideas Winter Party Ideas

Warm Up this Winter with a Winter Soup Potluck

February 17, 2013

Warm up this winter by inviting your friends over for a winter soup potluck dinner!  A great way to gather the neighbors together for a pick-me-up in those long months between the Christmas holidays and the spring thaw when everyone stays bundled up inside and there's no chance to visit over the mailbox, a soup or stew potluck dinner is a fun way to get everyone involved in the party prep so no one is stuck with all the cooking duties.

Pre-planning Activities 

Spread the word about your winter soup potluck by sending out personalized invitations or an email with all the party details included.  Make sure you let everyone know that they'll need to bring a pot of their favorite winter soup or stew to share with the crowd, along with a few copies of the recipe to share.  Another option is to ask guests to email you a copy of the recipe for their dish a few days before the party.  This gives you time to put all the recipes together into one document and print out copies for everyone to take home their own mini-cookbook as a party favor!  You can even personalize it with a fun custom designed cover if you're the creative type!  Ask guests to RSVP at least five days before the party so you can have a firm headcount.  This will not only insure you have enough supplies for the party, but also allow you to let everyone know how much soup they should be cooking!  Guests don't need to bring enough soup to feed each guests since everyone won't be eating a full bowl of each soup, but they should plan on making enough to supply a small cup for each guest to taste. 

Decorations for your Winter Soup Potluck

While your winter soup potluck might not be associated with any specific holiday, that doesn't mean you can't decorate!  When you're trying to shed the winter blahs, brightening up your party space with some lantern lights in pretty pastels will add a welcome burst of color, along with bright bunches of flowers, which you can get for little cost at the local grocery store.  Place them in clear glass vases and use them to decorate the tables, mantel, countertops, and bathrooms, along with votive candles.  If you're worried about burns or the risk of fire, choose flameless candles, which work just as well as real candles but won't burn the house down if they accidentally get knocked over by an excited guest!

Preparing for the Potluck

Get ready for your winter soup potluck by clearing off enough counter space to accommodate all those pots and slow cookers.  Chances are, most of your guests will transport their soups in slow cookers, so having a plug strip handy will save you time when everyone arrives!  Have plenty of hot plates to protect your counter, as well as ladles for each soup along with a small plate under each ladle to catch drips.  As the guests arrive, have them set up their soups along the counter in a line and label their creation with an index card so everyone knows what soups they can choose from!

Once all the guests (and soups!) have arrived, have guests start dishing up the soups.  The easiest way to serve up the soups and let everyone get a taste might be to simply let guests fill cups with a small portion of the soups they want to try.  This way they can try a few different types of soups, you don't need to worry about washing dishes in between soup refills, and guests don't have to worry about making a complete mess of the kitchen!

You'll also want to make sure you have plenty of accents on hand for your party.  Shredded cheese, crackers, crusty bread to sop up the last drops, salt, cracked pepper, and other spices, and plenty of plastic spoons for tasting!   Once you've got everything ready for your soup tasting, dig in and watch the good times begin! 

On a cold winter's night, a soup potluck in the perfect way to rid the winter blues with your friends and neighbors, and, after you've done this once, you're going to want to make it an annual tradition, especially after you collect those recipes and discover some new family favorites to fill out your menu! 

For tips, questions, help planning an event or for recipe and craft ideas, email our party experts at for your personal party planner!