Soups and chowders are hearty dishes that are especially comforting when colder days roll in. They’re also a simple one-pot meal to make when you’re expecting family, friends, or other guests over for a dinner party and don’t want to leave the kitchen in a havoc with dozens of pots and pans in the sink after. Whether it’s a casual gathering or special dinner, it never hurts to serve your homemade soup with proper etiquette and in a way that all of your guests, including yourself, enjoy. Let’s dive right into everything you need to know about serving soup to your guests. 

Serving Soup to Your Guests

There are a few approaches you can take when serving soup to your guests. You can pour them into individual bowls in the kitchen and bring them out to the table. There is the option of pouring the soup for each guest after they are seated one by one. Or you can put the pot on the table and serve from there, with the option of allowing self-serve. As for the direct serving of the soup itself, the simplest yet most effective way is through a ladle. Always remember to serve the soup with the ladle facing away from the guest to ensure the liquid doesn’t splash in their direction. Alternatively, you can use a dedicated soup pourer or soup jug if you want a fancier approach. 

How much soup should you pour for each guest? The average recommended serving size for soup is often less than people initially expect, but it’s merely a suggestion. You can pour guests more or offer them seconds if they want. After all, soups are often by far one of the most nutritious dishes you can eat. The serving size also depends if you’re serving the soup as an appetizer, for lunch, or for dinner. For the former two, the recommended serving size is 1 cup (~230 milliliters). For dinnertime, that number rises to about 1 and ½ cup or even 2 cups (`~250-300 milliliters) to constitute a whole, fulfilling dish. You can easily keep track of the portion size by the capacity of your ladle or a measuring cup. 

Best Temperature to Serve Soup 

No matter what format you choose to serve the soup, it’s crucial to take temperature into consideration. The majority of soups are best when eaten warm and as a host you need to maintain the temperature up until the moment your guests take their first spoonful of it. To avoid a drop in temperature between the timeframe of cooking and serving it, you can keep the stove turned on at the lowest temperature setting to ensure it is always warm. Stir it regularly to avoid any ingredients from sticking to the bottom. 

As surprising as it may sound, not all types of soup are served with the same temperature. Here is a handy guide for the optimal  temperature to serve soup depending on the kind:

  • Hot, clear soups serve near boiling 210°F (99°C)
  • Cream soups between 190°F to 200°F (88°C to 93°C)
  • Cold soups like gazpacho at 40°F (4°C) or lower

What to Serve with Soup

Garnishes and side dishes can take your soup to the next level, but what to pair with what? We’ve got you covered. Salad and bread are the all-time go-to accompaniments with soup. All three together will have you feeling as full as a roast dinner would. You can always serve soup as an appetizer for a larger, entirely unrelated meal as well. Garnishes are also a subtle yet effective way to elevate a soup, if you know what to pair with it. For example, if you’ve made tortilla soup, serve it with a side of sliced avocado, lime, and extra tortilla chips. Sour cream for topping is great with butternut squash soup. What to serve with French onion soup? Some salty crackers on the side is never a bad idea for added crunch. 

Soup Bowls and Spoons

The technical part aside, every host wants their guests to eat their meal out of tableware that matches with the look and feel of the space and is enjoyable overall. There’s an endless variety of soup bowls you can go for from deep to shallow or thick-rimmed. If you’re looking for a relatively larger soup bowl, take a look at the Emile Henry Silex Soup Bowl. Another one of our favorites that doubles as a soup and pasta bowl is the Emile Henry Feu Doux Soup Bowl. Both are made with heat resistant ceramic. We certainly can’t forget about the one and only utensil made for eating soup with — spoons. If you didn’t know there was such a thing as a soup spoon, well you do now. We recommend checking out the 

Modena Round Soup Spoon and Eclipse Round Soup Spoon sets if you don’t know where to look. 

 

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