It’s Soup Swap Season
Warm Up With Friends, Share and Trade Recipes
by Ann Flood
As we gather up the firewood for the hearth and shake out sweaters to prepare for the cold months ahead, it’s also an excellent season to round up friends and neighbors for a soup swap. No two soups will be alike, as every cook is an individual with their own tastes. A potluck of soups presents a wonderful opportunity to try out new and trade old recipes.
Tips for Soup Swap Success
Invite soup lovers by e-invite about two to three weeks in advance to allow for plenty of prep time, keeping your guest list to six to eight people. This will ensure that everyone leaves with an ample number of soups for their freezer. For example, if six people will attend, each guest should bring six (one-quart) containers of soup—five to give away, one to share that night. Glass Mason jars work great for presentation and freeze well, but freezer-safe bags or plasticware can work in a pinch.
Make sure you suggest that each participant clearly label and date their soup. As a backup, have stickers on hand when they arrive. Also request that your guests bring the recipes for their soups on pre-printed recipe cards. This also helps folks with food allergies or sensitivities to know the ingredient list.
What’s soup night without wine and bread? Consider having some wine on hand, or cider and also either crusty warm bread, oyster crackers or rolls, and a light salad that would pair well with soup. You want to also make sure you have enough mugs, bowls, spoons—mix and match is fine—and several pots for warming the soups.
Plan about a half hour to an hour for socializing, but designate a time and let your attendees know when the soup swapping will begin.
Show and Tell Time
When it’s time to begin, ask each guest to describe his or her soup—the ingredients, where the recipe came from—perhaps it is a family favorite or has a great story behind it.
Conversation will be lively as the tasting begins, with built-in stories from your home cook friends. Depending on how elaborate you want to be, you might even consider honoring the offerings in different categories such as “most unusual ingredient” or “best original story behind the recipe.” Remember, there can always be a tie in every category so no one feels slighted.
Serve coffee and dessert while you plan your next soup swap. At the end of the evening you may want to provide a carrying bag or paper grocer bag for your guests to leave with a freezer full of delicious, homemade fall soups and new recipes.
Ann Flood is a third-generation Chicagoan and editorial director of Edible Chicago. Some of her favorite childhood memories include regular potluck gatherings with friends and family. Soup and bread, always.