Never heard of it? Get ready for your new favorite winter tradition. 

By Gillie Houston
January 12, 2018
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Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

With the most momentous sporting event of the year fast approaching, you may have already started contemplating what deep-fried and cheese-covered dishes you’ll be whipping up on February 4. But for those who are looking to take their Super Bowl feasting to a new level—and take a break from hand crafting time-consuming snack stadiums—it’s time to ditch the basic snack spreads and embrace a punny new tradition. We present you with your new favorite winter food event: The Souper Bowl.

From serious football lovers trying to change up their game day menus, to those who aren’t exactly the biggest sports fans and just want an excuse to invite friends over, eat tons of good food, and drink a bottle or three of wine (like yours truly), the Souper Bowl is a new tradition you’ll look forward to for years to come. 

Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Soup image

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Adam Dolge; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

The Rules 

The rules of the Soup-er Bowl are simple. Each “player” brings a hearty-sized batch of their favorite homemade soup, letting the host know what they’re planning to make ahead of time so that six different chicken noodle soup recipes don’t end up crashing the party. Soups, stews, and chilis are all permitted in the Soup-er Bowl, as long as they pass the all-important spoon-ability test (absolutely no forks allowed). 

Guests are to provide their own heat source—preferably a crockpot to keep their soup warm for a prolonged period of time—or, in a pinch, should let their host know ahead of time if real estate on a stove burner will have to be reserved for their pot.

Watch: How to Make Chicken Alfredo Soup

For those interested in adding an element of friendly competition to your Souper Bowls, print out blank brackets and pit similar soups against each other—like vegetable soup against a minestrone, or clam chowder against corn chowder. Ask each guest to vote on their favorite in each of the brackets, tasting as many soups as possible, until the field gets narrowed down to two final competitors. At that point the host can declare the winner, a majority vote can be tallied… or they can just strap on some helmets and settle it on the field (probably not). 

Each attendee should bring enough printed copies of their recipe to go around, allowing the soup-induced joy to continue well beyond the event.

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson; Food Styling: Mark Driskill

The Host

If you’re planning to play host to the Souper Bowl extravaganza, there are a few simple steps you can take to make the cozy culinary event of the season even more of a hit.

1. Provide guests with plastic containers at the end of the night, so that they can take a portion of their favorite soups home to reheat or freeze for future meals. Not only will this minimize food waste, but it will also turn the party into one epic meal prep session, making everyone’s lives just a little bit easier.

2. Take your hosting duties to the next level by providing homemade crusty bread—or store-bought if you’re in a pinch—and even Italian Bread Bowls for a full-sized helping of each guest’s favorite if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.

3. Another nice touch is to provide a toppings bar with cheese, chives, sour cream, and more, guaranteeing that any soup, stew, or chili that could benefit from some dressing up with have its time to shine.

4. Don’t be surprised if your guests end up talking more about the food than the game, or already start plotting next year’s soup contribution.  

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson; Food Styling: Mark Driskill

The Recipes

Ready to commit to throwing your own Souper Bowl, but aren’t sure which signature soup recipe to enter the competition with? We’ve got you covered. No matter your soup preferences, we’ve got a recipe for you:

 

Find even more Souper Bowl recipes and inspiration here