Countdown to Soup Swap Day 1: What's a Soup Swap?

6 years ago

We're counting down to National Soup Swap Day with soup ideas every day for two weeks! Come back each day to see more soup -- or click here to find all the soups in the series. And sign up for the newsletter to get soup in your inbox!


What The Heck Is a Soup Swap?

According to Lydia of Soupchick,

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.

Here's how it goes. You cook six quarts of soup -- and all your friends bring six quarts of soup. And everyone leaves with six soups she didn't cook, which provides culinary inspiration, six instant and super-cheap dinners and a freezer full of memories.

It also provides a rollicking good time. I went to my first soup swap last year -- here's a picture of the fancy labels my husband and I made for ours:

That's Burt Reynolds' 1972 Cosmo centerfold on the label for Justin's Beefy Mushroom Soup and me as Cooking Mama for my chorizo-chickpea-kale soup. We came home with a magnificent cioppino, the best split pea soup I've ever eaten, and something very murky whose label fell off, which is still hunkering in a corner of my freezer a year later. Label your soups, people.

How Do I Plan a Soup Swap? has full instructions, but basically:

1) Invite a bunch of people ( recommends at least six).
2) Everyone must bring six quarts of frozen or freezeable homemade soup.
3) On Soup Swap Day (which is designated January 22, but can be any day), bring your soup to the party.
4) Commence the "Telling of the Soup," wherein each soupmaker brags about what's in her soup and what makes her soup so wonderful.
5) Draw for picking order and let everyone pick a soup in order. Go around five more times til everyone has six soups.
6) Go home with soup.

National Soup Swap Day is Saturday, January 22. I suggest you host! Provide nibbles (because the soup goes home with the soupies) and labels for those who forgot. Entertainment will be amply provided.

Bloggers And Their Soup Swaps
  • Mamacita at What Would Jane Austen Do? lists all the soups she swapped, but provides the "most important recipe" -- for sangria (I told you these were fun).
  • Lydia at Soupchick says, "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.
  • Mayberry Mom reminds us that homemade soup can be super-easy -- and reminisces about her days visiting the Soup Nazi.
  • Claudine at Simply Claudine hosted her first swap last year. She gave door prizes for first soup to have all six quarts picked -- great idea!
  • Jenna at Corgipants went to a Soup Swap at work -- another awesome idea (especially if you have an office freezer that can accommodate six delicious lunches per worker).
  • Arhisha at Joyously Living Life coordinated a blogger Soup Swap of favorite recipes.
My "Better Than Mama" Chickpea-Chorizo-Kale Soup Recipe

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. sherry vinegar
1/4 c sherry
1 t. red pepper flakes
4 cups cooked chickpeas
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bunches lacinato kale, shredded
2 oz. hard (Spanish or Portuguese) chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Add the onion, chorizo, carrot and celery and sauté until onion is translucent and chorizo browned, about 5 minutes. Add the, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or until garlic is fragrant.

2. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and let cook a few minutes, until sherry reduces a bit and loses some of its boozy smell. Add the chickpeas, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in shredded Immediately reduce the heat and simmer soup for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes.

3. Stir in the sherry vinegar and adjust seasonings to taste. You can blend the soup with a stick blender in the pot if you like, but I like to see the ingredients. Cool and pour into six quart containers. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Freezes great!

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