By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Sumptuous Soup Supper

Autumn is a great time for casual entertaining, and there's nothing more satisfying than offering guests a hearty meal of homemade soup. My Sumptuous Soup Supper is perfect for an evening spent enjoying a college football game or chatting with friends and neighbors in front of the fire.

The menu starts with C.C.'s Caesar salad, a favorite prepared by my 12-year-old daughter C.C. Two Italian-inspired soups, Tuscan Bean Soup and Italian Seafood Stew, are simple to prepare yet supremely satisfying. Food Processor Rosemary Foccacia is delicious for dipping into the soup.

Chocolate Pecan Tarts are a decadent finale to the meal, and the menu is perfect for entertaining throughout the fall and winter. Consider serving the menu the night before Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve. Or, do as I did several years ago and invite friends for a "Souper Shopping Break" luncheon during the busy holiday shopping season. Add another bread, perhaps the Cheddar-Herb Muffins or Black Forest and Muenster Rolls posted on this site, and two more soups (consider Mushroom Bisque and Creamy Onion Soup also on this site) for a meal that will serve 24 to 30.


Recipes:

Spiced Couscous
Flash back five years and the rice aisle of the supermarket looks dramatically different than it does today. The packaged rice mixes and dried white rice now sit alongside exotic varieties of rice and boxes of couscous – super fine grains of pasta that cook up in mere minutes.
C.C.'s Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad has been a favorite for years, and today it’s served everywhere from top-notch restaurants to the fast food drive through. My 12-year-old daughter, C.C., is a fan of the combination of creamy dressing and crisp romaine and has learned to whip up this simple version.
Chocolate-Pecan Tarts
Almost no dessert is as easy to prepare as pecan pie, especially with the help of prepared pie crusts. Despite its ease, pecan pie is definitely a decadent treat, and the decadence can be taken over the top if you add good chocolate to the recipe.
Food Processor Rosemary Focaccia
Focaccia bread probably began as a way to turn pizza dough into something special, but now it has become popular on its own. Flavored with rosemary, this Food Processor Rosemary Focaccia is a delicious accompaniment to soups and salads, and it is a snap to prepare.
Italian Seafood Stew
While Italian soups are often referred to as “peasant food,” a traditional Italian Seafood Stew defies the label and is a rich man’s feast of flavors. The flavor base for my Italian Seafood Stew is a sauté of crushed red pepper flakes, anchovy fillets, garlic and a bay leaf.