IT IS, FOR MY EXTENDED FAMILY, a rite of autumn in Minnesota.
The orange tub of cheese balls. My nieces’ bloody finger cookies. Julie’s homemade breads, still warm from the oven. Vintage trays stacked high. Crockpots, brimming with soup, crammed onto tables inside the garage. Sampling each soup or chili. And afterward, conversation and laughter around the backyard campfire.
Last Saturday night my sister Lanae and her husband Dale hosted their eighth annual soup party at their Waseca home for family and friends. For me, and many others, it’s a must-attend autumn event.
Sweatshirt weather on a day that transitions quickly from cool to cooler. Oranges and reds and yellows. Chili that bites and heats the innards. Comfort in the familiarity of Chicken Noodle Soup laced with thick, homemade noodles. Unfamiliarity in the Chinese Hot & Sour Soup among these mostly Germans more connected to the German Potato Salad Soup.
Trying tofu for the first time in that tasty Chinese soup.
Listening to my other sister share how her family detests the stench of the Broccoli Cheese Soup she brings every year.
Trading left-overs with Carol, who raves about my Black Bean Pumpkin Soup, which I don’t find all that great. I think I’m the winner, getting her Chicken Noodle Soup. Carols thinks she’s gotten the better end of the swap. It is a matter of opinion, a matter of taste preferences.
We don’t arrive expecting to like all of the soups and chilis—15 this year:
- Chinese Hot & Sour
- Reuben Chowder
- Broccoli Cheese
- Gunflint Chili
- White Chili
- Chocolate (yes, soup)
- Lemon Orzo
- Tortellini with Italian Sausage
- German Potato Salad (yes, soup)
- Ham & Bean
- Creamy Corn with Jalapeno,
- Pumpkin Black Bean
- Stuffed Sweet Pepper
- Chicken Noodle
- Red Chili
But we arrive expecting to enjoy ourselves in the company of family and friends on a beautiful autumn evening in Minnesota. And we do. And I did.
THANKS, LANAE AND DALE, for hosting this fun, tasty event.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling