A soup party is a group effort; you and the guests all contribute a favorite homemade soup, bread or other fixin' to the party. Non-cooks in the group? Someone needs to supply the tableware, napkins, etc. Or perhaps an appropriate centerpiece.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when hosting a soup party:
Keep tabs on who's bringing what and head off any duplications. (How many, do you suppose, would show up with turkey soup or pumpkin soup after the holidays?)
Serve the meal buffet-style, when practical. Keep the soups warm in crock pots, cords safely out of the way of traffic, with a place card in front of each one to identify the soup.
Use small disposable bowls or mugs so that guests can more easily sample all the soups.
Ask the soup and bread-makers to supply copies of their recipes for the other guests to take home. (Or at least get the recipe to you so that you can make copies.)
Any laid-back cool-weather gathering is right for a soup party, a perfect showcase for those delicious homemade soup recipes.
What to Serve with Soup
The simplest and often the best approach is to just serve...
Warm, garlicky French bread is always good, or make your own Sourdough Breadsticks or cornbread.
Dessert is preferably not one served in a bowl, eaten with a spoon; after the soup, it's redundant.
But you may also want to serve...
Cheese, an assortment, especially with a carb-heavy soup.
Crudités, finger-food veggies like celery and carrot sticks or
Salad, served on the side as you would for any other meal.