It’s so blustery cold these days. It’s the perfect time to hunker down by the fire and have a few friends over for dinner. What’s warm and cozier than soup? Throw a soup party! As the host you can make a big pot or two of soup. Have your guests bring another pot or two of soup. You can also have guests bring soup accompaniments – some fresh bread and/or a big salad. Set a nice table, set up the food buffet style and put out a bunch of bowls and you are all set. When guests are arriving you can offer a hot mulled wine and maybe some cheese and crackers. The mulled wine is a yummy start to a cozy evening and it will make your house smell wonderful. I love this idea for a warming winter get together with friends. And it couldn’t be easier to throw together.
RECIPE: Mulled Wine
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1 orange
- 10 cloves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean
- Stud the orange with the cloves.
- Combine studded orange with remainder of the ingredients in a large stainless steel pot.
- Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve warm in glass mugs.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 green onions, trimmed and sliced
- 1 rib of celery, minced
- 1 medium carrot, minced
- 4 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 cups of milk mixed with 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- Bring the first 8 ingredients to boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk milk/flour mixture into saucepan.
- Stir in cheese and bacon.
- Simmer uncovered 5-8 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly.
- Garnish with scallions or chives if desired.
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