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Soup's the answer.

Soup's the answer

Feeding the masses? Try soup.

The three groups shown here have found that soup is an easy way to feed a crowd-- and even raise money for a good cause. Soup can be a complete meal in one pot, simple to serve with just a bowl or mug and a spoon. It can be made ahead, reheated, and kept hot for a long time. It can be inexpensive. And it can stretch to feed a flexible number of people.

Santa Cruz's clam chowder contest

Because you can engineer soup with one burner and one pot and make a lot of it at one time, it's ideal for cooking contests. Proving the point, the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department sponsors an indoor-outdoor winter clam chowder cook-off.

More than 50 five-person teams participate. Each team makes at least 2 gallons of Manhattan or Boston chowder on portable stoves in a large public hall or park. All cooking takes place within 2 hours at the site. After cooking, the soups are judged. Then the public can buy tickets for tasting; you exchange a ticket at each team's table for a sample served in a disposable cup. Last year, 1,500 people had a chance to try 50 kinds of chowder.

Two soup-sampler buffet parties . . . one in San Jose

The two groups on this page have given soup buffets for big crowds. The first presents a wide range of soups with limited amounts of each for tasting; the second offers a much smaller selection to enjoy in quantity. All are made ahead and need only be reheated to serve.

The fund-raising lunch of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority's San Jose alumnae chapter highlights about 40 different soups. Last fall, the group served 50 gallons to 240 people.

Months before the event, about 40 members submit recipes. A committee screens them to ensure an interesting variety; recipes are printed for distribution at the lunch. Tickets ($5) are sold in the community, and the funds benefit charities.

Each cook prepares a soup and delivers it to the party location (or somewhere nearby with refrigeration) the night before or on the day of the event. All soups come labeled with name, reheating directions, and a tureen or electric warmer for serving. Soup bowls and ladles are rented.

From 12 to 16 soups are set out at a time on two buffet tables--one for hot soups, the other for cold--with breads and cookies. Guests fill their bowls to taste and return repeatedly to sample different kinds. Seating is provided. As soups cool or need replenishing, one of the fivemember kitchen crew does the job.

. . . and one in the L.A. area

Las Candalistas, an auxiliary group in Redondo Beach and Torrance, California, serves four or five soups to some 130 people. About 5 gallons of each are prepared by three or four members at home a day or two before the event. Before serving, big kettles of soup are heated, then nestled in large cloths and excelsior-lined baskets to disguise the containers and help keep the soups hot.

To smooth traffic flow, appetizers, wine, soups, and desserts are placed at separate buffet stations. Plastic spoons are supplied. Guests (other members of the group) bring their own mugs and sample while they socialize.

Photo: Contestants make soup from scratch, from preparing ingredients (far left) to cooking over portable stoves (near left) during clam chowder cook-off, Santa Cruz, California. After soups are judged, spectators can sample chowders for 25 cents a taste (below)

Photo: A small crew reheats different soups prepared for Kappa Alpha Theta fund-raising lunch in San Jose. More than 40 soups are ladled into tureens and placed on buffet tables; guests serve themselves

Photo: Big kettles of soup stay warm in lined baskets for Las Candalistas supper in Southern California. Soups are served in mugs brought by guests.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:to service a crowd for fund raising
Date:Oct 1, 1984
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