Serving soup as the main dish at a dinner party or for a large party of guests is a rather unorthodox choice and may make people wonder, but the decision to serve soup as a main course is a bold decision that can win heart, minds, and stomachs when you supplement it with the tips supplied here.

Is it Okay to Serve Soup as the Main Dish for a Dinner Party?

It is absolutely acceptable to serve soup as the main course at a dinner party or for a larger number of guests! While this is not a decision most people will expect you to make for menu choices for your gathering, the unexpected nature of doing so can offer a delightful and warming change from the norm. This is especially true when the weather first begins to turn colder and choosing to serve soup as the main course or main dish for your party will offer a pleasant kick-off to fall or winter, or for that matter, to the tail-end of cold weather.

In short, there is nothing wrong with serving soup as a main dish at a dinner party or for several guests and it can be a less time-consuming alternative to planning a large meal. Many delicious and filling soups can be prepared, in terms of ingredients, in a relatively short amount of time and can be left to simmer throughout the day while you make other preparations for your guests, which makes serving soup as the main course at a dinner party an especially attractive option.

If you do not handle this undertaking of serving soup as the main dish, however, your guests may leave feeling a bit empty, even when full on heavy soup that has been prepared with care and attention to detail.

Serving Soup as the Main Dish : It’s All About Timing and Balance

If you serve soup as a main dish, the primary concern should be timing and a balance of tastes that can be created by using a variety of appetizers. First of all, you want to make sure that before your guests are presented with the soup as the main dish at your dinner party, they have some light appetizers. Since serving soup as a main course might make you run the risk of flavor overload, make sure the appetizers you serve when serving soup as a main dish for your dinner party vary in terms of colors, textures, and tastes. Offer several alternatives and this will make certain that whatever your guest is craving, whether it is salty or sweet, is within reach. If you desire, tell your guests to stock up on a few of these items to keep on a plate next to the soup you are serving as the main course. For the sake of ease, use simply appetizers, including a light dip with crackers (save the bread for the soup) and fresh-cut vegetables and fruit for sweetness and crunchiness, as well as something salty, such as roasted almonds, for instance.

Timing is crucial. Give your guests plenty of time to mingle and have their light appetizers and make them anticipate the soup by allowing plenty of time to pass with the smell of the simmering pot of soup to infiltrate their senses. When the time finally comes to bring the soup out onto the table, make sure it is very well presented so it doesn’t just look like…well…a pot of soup. Add fresh herbs or grated cheese (depending on the soup, of course) for color and presentation and serve it in a beautiful dish. Allowing the time for the smell of simmering soup to entice is critical.

When Serving Soup as the Main Dish, Bread is Your Best Friend

Nothing goes with hearty soups or stews quite like a load of freshly-baked bread. If you are serving soup as the main course to a large number of people, spice things up a bit by offering smaller loaves of between 4-6 different kinds of bread. Offer a round loaf of dark rye sitting next to a golden loaf of sourdough or wheat and provide regular real softened butter, a few different dipping oils, and perhaps an herb butter with plenty of small knives for guests to use. The most important function of this offering of alternatives of bread is to make up for the very heavy main dish of soup. It will also give your guests something to talk about as they try different breads and taste the difference, allowing them to comment on which is best and what goes best with the fabulous soup you have presented.

No matter what kind of soup you serve, whether it is thick and spicy or broth-based and thin with emphasis on pasta or meat, serving soup as a main course can be one of the best and hassle-free decisions you can make for your next dinner party. While serving soup as the main dish is something you will only want to do once or twice, at most, per year, with your guests, it offers a hearty, filling, and warming break from tradition.