Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden
How can making a pot of soup build community? That’s the concept behind Soup Swap, my newest cookbook. Here’s the set up: invite a group of food-loving friends over—neighbors, family, book club, yoga group, PTO, etc— and ask everyone to bring a large pot of their favorite soup (as well Mason jars and take out containers). You make a salad or side dish, bread, and dessert. And then you have a soup party. At the end of the night everyone fills their jars and containers with the leftovers and no one gets stuck with the same old pot of soup all week.
Before you eat, go around the room and “introduce” your soup by talking about why you were inspired to make it, where any special ingredients might have come from (farmer’s market, travels abroad, etc) and then share recipes.
Soup Swaps are a great, easy way to entertain all fall and winter long. I have been sharing soup with a group of 12 friends and neighbors for six winters. Over the years our soups have become increasingly sophisticated and we have all gotten closer and found new meaning in winter and winter food.
When people ask me to choose my favorite soup it’s nearly impossible; (like choosing a favorite child, I respond). Depends on the season and what’s growing in my garden. In late summer, when the harvest is in full swing, my collection of vegetable-based soups— from Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons to Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup with Parsley Pesto — are great ways to use garden or farmer’s market produce.
When I traveled in southern France several years ago I ordered fish soup at every seaside bistro. This Provençal-Style Fish Stew is my version ( and one of my favorites) made with leeks, fennel, garlic, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels and more. The fragrant spice saffron gives the soup a gorgeous color and flavor.
Looking forward to seeing the results of #SoupSwapParty bloggers’ choices. To warm, nourishing pot of soup and the sharing of your favorite recipes.