Party Girl: Soup-er Bowl Party

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Oh, Super Bowl. Every February - just as we've gotten into the groove with our eat-better New Year's resolutions - you crop up with your bottomless buffets of chicken wings, nachos, and enough dip to fill a stadium. This year, enough is enough.

This year, why not go Soup-er Bowl Party instead? Your guests will still fill up on delicious, warm, gooey, hearty food, but without the buffalo wing hangover (and accompanying regret) the next morning.

In addition to being generally healthier than many options, a soup buffet will take up considerably less space than a full appetizer spread - and with a simple twist you can even trick your guests into bringing most of the food! A few variations...

  • Soup Buffet - You're on your own for this one, preparing 2-3 different soups for your guests. Mix things up with a hearty chili (veggie-style if not all of your guests dig on meat), a brothy minestrone, and a creamy potato-leek. Set out toppings like shredded cheese and chopped scallions along with some crusty bread, and you're good to go.
  • Soup Throwdown - Your guests are obviously into football, so they're probably somewhat competitive-natured. Turn that to your advantage and host a contest! Trash-talk to your friends about your soup skillz and challenge them to bring their own signature concoction. Encourage them to bring along a slow-cooker to keep everything warm, set out the crusty bread, and take a vote. The real winner? You!
  • Soup Swap - Perhaps especially appropriate as an alternate activity for spouses (I didn't say "wives!" Hold the hate mail!) who aren't interested in watching the game. Follow the guidelines of the official Soup Swap web site, and encourage each souper to bring an extra quantity for sharing on the spot or for soup to take home. Again with the crusty bread, and you're all set.

So hold the nachos, and dump the dip. Super Bowl XLIV is all about the soup.
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