If you haven’t yet heard, Wednesdays are our Guest Blogger Series day! It’s a day where Stacy and I get a bit of a mid-week break while getting to share with you some of our favorite online bloggers. And for their hard work, they get the benefit of your readership – we encourage you to please show all of them your support by visiting their blog and social media links at the end of this post!
This week, our guest is Mary from Simple and Merry! She shares an excellent idea for hosting a dinner party that will satisfy any guests you’d like to bring! We have a similar idea for a Chinese Hot Pot dinner in our first book, Eat Like a Dinosaur and approve of this kind of party!
Harmony Soup Party!
I met most of my husband’s extended family at their annual Christmas dinner.I had just given up eggs, dairy and gluten several weeks earlier, and was Very happy with my fantastic energy and clearing skin.And it was Good Timing, since our wedding was in just a week. Christmas dinners are typically Full of eggs, dairy and gluten, and I was a little nervous about it until I heard the menu. How Brilliant!!
A soup bar is akin to a salad bar, and is perfect for large (or small!) parties of people who have different food preferences. My husband’s aunt was so clever to think of a way to please everyone. We started with a rich bone broth with some meat in it.Next were bowls of spice mixes, vegetables, and toppings with spoons to serve ourselves whatever flavor and combination we desired.It was a perfect nourishing Winter family meal!
When I read Paleo Parent’s Post about Thanksgiving with their vegan relatives, (see here) I thought of the Soup Bar, and how it would work perfectly for a family get together!With that in mind, not all my suggestions are Paleo - some would more appeal to a Primal, Vegetarian, or Vegan crowd.I think it’s important to respect how people want to eat, in hopes that they will also respect how I want to eat.
Choose the ideas that you want on your table with regard to your crowd.
It can be a huge party with tons of choices, or just a fun family dinner where everyone can go heavy on their particular favorites. Use your imagination and go wild!
Our Harmony Soup Party!
Chicken Bone Broth, Canned Salmon, Old Bay, Curry Spice Mix from Practical Paleo, S&P, Ginger, Fermented Carrots, Peas, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Squash, Creamy Coconut Milk, Raisins, Steamed Kale, and Chopped Fresh Parsley/Lemon Zest. Everyone combined a little different, and it was fabulous!
Broth – this is made best by throwing leftover bones in a crockpot with water, a splash of vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, a chopped onion, and some carrots. Turn on high until it comes to a boil, then turn it down and let simmer for 24 hours. Strain the broth into a pot, and discard the bones.You will want the broth to be just lightly salted. Remember that people will be adding their own spices to their bowl.
Meat/bone based: Beef, chicken, ham, lamb, fish – whatever your pleasure
Vegetarian option: Vegetable Broth – Simmer any combination of organic vegetables in water until very tender, then strain the broth.
Seasonings – Our aunt had labeled bowls with seasoning mixes that you could spoon over your soup – here are some ideas but use your imagination: *Be sure your seasonings are MSG and gluten free!
~Any spice mix from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo pages 230-233
~Taco Seasonings or Chili Powder
~Coconut Aminos/Wheat free Tamari, Toasted Sesame Oil
~Grated ginger, horseradish, wasabi, miso, sea vegetables
~Salt and Pepper/Red Pepper Flakes
Protein – You can have as many varieties as you choose. You could have it mixed in with the broth already (if your whole crowd is meat-eating) or have it separate.
~Meat: Beef, chicken, lamb, fish, meatballs, sausage, ham, crumpled bacon, chopped hard boiled egg, canned salmon/fish, pepperoni, clams
~Vegetarian option: Chick peas, tofu chunks, black beans (or any beans), natto, tempeh
~Steamed broccoli, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, pea pods, peas, kale
~Sauteed onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms
~Boiled or roasted sweet potato chunks, squash chunks, carrots, potato chunks
~Sliced olives, artichoke hearts, chiles
~Fermented carrots, sauerkraut or kimchi; pickles
~Shredded Cheese, salsa, avocado/guacamole, toasted nuts, toasted sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, canned coconut milk, pesto, lemon juice
~Crumpled nori sheets
~Fresh Chopped Herbs: parsley, basil, thyme, chives, dill, citrus zest
~Raisins or Dried Apricots (this would pair well with a curry theme)
Choose items from each category and place on a buffet table.Feel free to have a theme:
~Friday Night Pizza Soup Party
with Chicken broth, tomatoes, pepperoni, sausage meatballs, olives, sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms, steamed spinach, broccoli, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, raw grass-fed cheese (if some tolerate dairy.)
~Asian Soup Party
with Fish or Chicken broth, cooked fish or chicken, Coconut Aminos, Toasted Sesame Oil, pickled ginger, wasabi, bean sprouts, broccoli, carrots,
pea pods, mushrooms, kimchi, toasted sesame seeds, and crumpled nori sheets.
German, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Tacos etc… look at the list above and go crazy with all the fun toppings/fillings.
Delegate the different toppings to groups of friends, and have a healthy gathering!
*The nourishment of this meal is exponentially increased by homemade bone broth – see Here for more information on its health benefits.
*If you want a Harmony Salad Party for summertime, exchange the broth with lettuce, the seasonings with healthy salad dressings, and Enjoy!
Mary (Blount) Lapp lives with her husband in Lancaster County, PA – where fresh whole food is delightfully abundant. She loves to cook and eat, and spends lots of her time doing both.