Tips on How to Start a Soup Club at Your Church

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own personal chef three days a month? That’s what you get when you start a soup club. A blessing extended returns three-fold. In case you don’t know, then let me explain how a soup club works. 

Who Can Be In a Soup Club?

The whole point of putting together a soup club is to grow relationships and bless other families. The ideal number of families is four. More than four would be costly, and any less means you have to cook for the soup club more than once a month. Yes, you have to cook up a crockpot of soup once a month, but in return, you get three nights off.

Not to be exclusive, but it helps if you know some good cooks. Don’t limit it to just your friends on speed dial. Maybe start with yourself and a close gal pal, then branch out and ask someone you don’t know as well. Not only does this foster new friendships, but you never know what unique personalities and flavors they’ll introduce to your group. For example, in our soup group, we have an NYC native, a Dominican, and two Okies.

Our soup group happens to all be new moms or newly married – and that works for us! But I can see the purpose in starting a soup club among empty nesters, working moms, or even four workout buddies.

Another thing to think about is what location is common to all of you? The reason this is important is that you need to deliver the soup each week. We all attend the same church, so our Wednesday evening service is perfect for us to all meet.

Start-Up Considerations for a Soup Group

First, let’s take a look at how the soup club works.

zuppa toscana can cause holiday weight gain

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Welcome to the soup group, a group of soup enthusiasts committed to sharing yummy recipes and friendship. It’s not a competition, just a way to show love to each other’s families. 

  • The rotation has been set to deliver soup every Wednesday of the month.
  • Each family owns one 8-cup (or 2, quart-sized containers for delivery and transport.
  • On your rotation, you will be responsible for filling everyone’s containers for dinner.
  • Please clean and return empty containers to the next family on the schedule before the following soup day.
  • Inform the rest of the soup group if your family has any allergies or dislikes.
  • Inevitably, your week will fall in a time that is totally inconvenient. Just woman up and fix the meal, everyone will have a tough week. On the flip side, one week when its someone else’s turn may be a total blessing for you not to have to cook.
  • If you are out of town or not able to pick up the soup on Wednesday, let the provider know so she can save your portion or freeze it, depending on how long you’ll be away.

How Does a Soup Club Work?

Most of the logistics I modified from a book called The Soup Club Cookbook: Feed Your Friends, Feed Your Family, Feed Yourself. Our soup club has tweaked it some and added some aspects of Christian hospitality. Here are a few ideas on how to start a soup club at your church. Starting a soup group is very low pressure, and we forgive in cases of soup failures. (We all have those days, huh?)

  • Feel free to be creative or try something new. Thank the Lord for Pinterest!
  • We welcome old classics or new international dishes. Go as fancy as you want or as simple. That’s what makes soup so great!
  • Try to make at least 1 quart of soup per soup club member or spouse (that’s enough for every couple to have two servings each, or for them to use if company comes over.)
  • 1 quart = 4 cups, 8 quarts = 32 cups/2 gallons. That’s quite a bit of soup, so unless you have a large recipe then plan on doubling the recipe since most only serve 6-8 people, and we need 16 servings.
  • Provide any garnishes or additives that your soup will need. Portion it out for each couple. (For example: if you’re making chicken tortilla soup, and it calls for sour cream, sliced avocados, and chips… then make sure each person receives an avocado for their family and half a bag of chips, etc.)
  • Write out or text any reheating and finishing instructions needed for your soup if it’s not ready to eat as is.

More Things You Should Know Before You Start a Soup Club:

  • Keep the recipe handy to pass along to the other gals. Maybe we can start our own collection!
  • Don’t freeze any soup with dairy in it, as it will separate once cold and never be the same.
  • Salt and taste as you go, rather than having to start a huge batch all over again.
  • Feel free to make suggestions but let’s remember we’re a soup group, not soup critics.
  • Don’t be limited to just serving soup. If you have an amazing side salad or some French bread, go for it!

Sample Recipe for Your Soup Group: Crab Bisque

red lobster biscuits Our soup club has been up and running for a couple of months now. So far we’ve enjoyed Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup, Italian Peasant Soup, Taco Soup, Sancocho Soup, Chicken Gnocchi, Meatball and Lentil Soup, Potato Soup, Alfredo Lasagna Soup, and Crab Bisque. As you can tell, quite the variety which makes a soup group so fun!

The week I was asked to write this article was my week in the soup group rotation. So I’ll walk you through my recipe that I shared with the other families. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have picked something as labor intensive as crab bisque. I’ve NEVER shucked crab legs before, and when I did I found it was so invasive! I felt like apologizing to the poor crabs for destroying their privacy.

But that’s what the soup group is all about –  trying new things! The soup ended up being phenomenal, in my opinion, but I definitely would use imitation crab as a time saver the next time around. I also found two boxes of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix at the store for a side to share. Each family got four biscuits to go along with the soup. Here’s the expanded recipe to feed an entire four-family soup group, which is close to 2 gallons:

CRAB BISQUE RECIPE

start a soup group crab bisque recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 4-5 Tbsp chicken base
  • 8 cups warmed milk, split into 4 cups and 4 cups
  • 6 cups warmed heavy whipping cream
  • 16-24 oz fresh or imitation crab meat
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2-6 cups water (add more or less for thickness and volume)

crab legs for crab bisque

Directions:

  1. Melt butter and sauté onion.
  2. Add flour, spices, and base- stir cook for about 1 minute to get rid of the flour taste and create a thick paste.
  3. Warm milk and cream in the microwave.
  4. Slowly add in and stir 4 cups of warm milk.
  5. Keep stirring until the flour dissolves into a thick liquid.
  6. Slowly add all the warm cream. Next, add the crab chunks or flakes.
  7. Cook on medium heat until thickens, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add remaining milk, vinegar, and sugar.
  9. Cook until heated through, but do not let boil. Add water as needed to make more soup and thin.
  10. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature to pour into soup group containers.

Hannah Schmutzler

About the Author

Hannah Schmutzler

Hannah and her husband Cameron are currently on deputation, raising support so they can begin full-time missionary work in Mongolia. She juggles the demands of traveling with those of a toddler and keeps a sweet spirit through it all. Hannah has authored two books in addition to her writing for the Submissive Spirit. She also blesses us with her beautiful voice.

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