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January 2, 2011

Start the new year with a Soup Swap

Soups lined up in the kitchen for Soup Swap

For soupies everywhere, January 22 (three weeks from today) means just one thing: the 5th National Soup Swap.

Soup Swap is the brainchild of Knox Gardner, a Seattle technology consultant who got tired of eating only his own soup creations, and decided to invite some friends to trade soups. From there, it became an annual event, and now swaps happen all around the country, all year long.

It couldn't be easier:

  • Invite any number of soup lovers to a party.
  • Ask each person to bring six quarts of frozen (or freezeable) soup, packed in six one-quart containers, along with six copies of the recipe. Here on Soup Chick there's an entire category of make ahead and freeze soups that would be perfect for Soup Swap.
  • Place all the soup containers on a table or kitchen counter.
  • Serve some wine. (This isn't required, but it's nice.)
  • Ask each person to describe his/her soup.
  • Draw numbers to determine the order of soup selection.
  • Then, one at a time, have each guest choose one quart of soup. 
  • When you've gone through one round, draw numbers again (so nobody gets last choice each time); keep going for five more rounds, until all the soups are selected. Don't worry about the math; it always works out.
  • Send each person home with six delicious quarts of soup and the recipes.

Seven swap-worthy soup recipes from other food bloggers caught my eye this week:

Fresh tomato soup, from Former Chef

Carrot and squash curry soup, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

West African peanut soup, from The Gracious Bowl

Spicy chicken soup, from Barbara Bakes

Chard and chickpea soup with sausage and green pepper, from Kalyn's Kitchen

Roasted red pepper, fennel and lentil soup, from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska

Celery root soup, from David Lebovitz

I hosted my first Soup Swap two years ago. There were 12 soupies, including some friends of friends (a great way to meet new people), and the soups featured original creations and cookbook favorites.

Soup Swaps are fun at any time of year, so if you can't join in on National Soup Swap day (January 22), why not plan a swap some other time?

To learn more about Soup Swap, please visit the newly renovated web site, or check out the Facebook page.


Posted by: tea_austen | January 2, 2011 at 04:32 PM

Yay, Knox is my friend. His soup swaps are awesome!

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | January 2, 2011 at 05:16 PM

I love this idea and once wrote about it for BlogHer. Hmm, now I'm thinking I should have a soup swap.

Posted by: Lucia | January 3, 2011 at 05:12 AM

"•Ask each person to describe his/her soup."
I seem to remember this on the original Soup Swap site being mentioned as "pimp your soup"! What an opportunity for whimsy! Soup Swap rules!

Posted by: Jeanette | January 3, 2011 at 06:39 AM

What a fun idea. I'm teaching some soup classes at our local senior center and some of these freeze ahead soups would be great choices.

Posted by: Sarah @ Semi-Sweet | January 3, 2011 at 09:40 AM

GREAT idea! So many people are trying to eat more healthily after the holidays - this would be a great way to foster that.

Posted by: Kristina | January 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I am so glad you posted this! I first heard about the Soup Swap last year, but it was too late to organize something.
I absolutely love the idea and now I'm thinking this year I'm going to do it for sure!

Also, thanks for including my soup in your recommendations!

Posted by: BarbaraBakes | January 4, 2011 at 01:46 PM

What a fun idea. I love trying new soups, especially this time of year. Thanks for linking to my soup!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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