Wednesday, January 13, 2016

hosting a soup swap

if you read regularly, you know that I've posted a lot of soup recipes lately: baked potato, broccoli cheese, chicken noodle, moroccan chickpea soup. soup is the greatest, especially in the winter, it lasts a long time in the fridge or freezer and one pot makes many servings. so here I was just making soup in my own world when I stumbled upon a soup swap post on instagram. you mean I can turn soup making and soup eating into a party?! I'm in.

so this is how I decided to host a soup swap! everyone was tasked with making a soup of their choice and bringing nine individually packaged single servings for all guests, including one serving for us to heat up and taste at the swap. we had so much fun tasting all these different kinds of soups and of course, the icing on the cake was that we all went home with tons of soup!





if you research soup swap, you'll find there are suggestions for swapping the soup such as the draw-a-number-out-of-a-hat method to determine which guest goes first, think white elephant style. as competitive as I am, I didn't want to have a soup selection process - everyone took home 1 jar of each soup. this way no one gets their feelings hurt and everyone gets to try all different types of soups. plus, I didn't want the point to be the swap - I wanted the day to be about eating lots of soup.



to make the soup tasting as seamless as possible, I ordered enough plastic spoons and small plastic tasting cups so that everyone could try each soup with a fresh cup and spoon. our process was to pick a soup, heat it up, pour it into tasting cups - while the person who made the soup described the ingredients and how they made it. the plastic tasting cups and spoons were crucial as they made tastings and clean ups super easy.







I served mini cornbread muffins and sliced french bread for soup dipping plus a charcuterie board, chili cheese dip, and brownies. and of course, there was lots of wine and champagne consumed! we were all so impressed by the different soups, everyone did such a great job picking unique and savory soups.

I sent out a google sheet ahead of time to make sure we didn't have any soup repeats and also kept on top of RSVPs to ensure I had an accurate final headcount a week in advance of the soup swap so that each guest made the right amount of soup.





since I knew I would be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, heating and serving the soup - I made sure to set up a self serve bar so no one had to ask for a refill. I love wine writers, washable markers to write guests' name on their glass to avoid mix ups.


I initially wanted to host this swap soup back in november, but everyone was already too busy with the holidays. I rescheduled for january and it turns out national soup swap day is this month, january 23th and homemade soup day is february 4th.

what you need to host a soup swap:
small plastic tasting cups for tasting (pack of 100)
plastic spoons for tasting (pack of 100)
pint sized mason jars (target is cheapest)
labels, if you want to order them (I used zazzle)
recipe cards



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