Soup Swaps are one of my favorite cold weather traditions with friends. Everyone makes a big batch of their favorite soup recipe, then the whole gang comes together to stock their freezers for winter. With minimal effort, you can have a whole host of different soups made with love by your nearest and dearest. What could be better?
The days are shorter and colder. The holidays are over. It's just...winter. I don't know about you, but I could sure use something on my calendar to look forward to. It doesn't hurt that this particular fun event will pull double duty and help Future Me whip up a nutritious and delicious dinner from the freezer in no time.
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I don't know about y'all, but my quaran-team is filled with like-minded homies who LOVE food. They like to cook, they live to eat, and they know good grub when they taste it. If this sounds even remotely like your group of friends, it's time to put a soup swap on your schedule.
We all have those days where we're too tired/bummed/cold/stressed/whatever to even think about getting a meal prepared. Instead of going for the ol' frozen pizza schtick (not that I don't love frozen pizzas), wouldn't it be nice to reach for a container of cozy soup that was lovingly prepared by one of your closest tribe members?
I thought so. Read on to learn how to set up your own soup swap with friends. I bet it'll become your favorite sweater weather party.
What is a Soup Swap?
Soup Swaps are pretty self explanatory - everyone involved brings along containers of their favorite soup recipe. When you get to the gathering, you swap your containers of soup for everyone else's. That means that while you only had to buy the ingredients for and go to the trouble of making a single soup, you get to walk away with a bunch of varieties to stock your fridge and freezer with.
It's a very simple concept that ends up saving you and your family from recipe fatigue and gives you the opportunity to trade stories and recipes with your best buds. Trust me on this one: when you get home, tuck away some of the soups in the freezer.
That way, when you have one of those dreaded nights where you're tired and cranky but still need to get food on the table, you can reach in the freezer and pull out a container of something one of your besties made. It feels like getting a hug and getting dinner delivered. Soup Swaps are a total win-win!
How to Organize a Soup Swap
First up, assemble a list of interested parties. I would recommend keeping the group to 10 or fewer buds, because a.) COVID safety, and b.) you should aim for a group size that you can make a big enough batch of soup for.
Our group is a solid 6 of us, and our family sizes range from 2-4 person households. It's also important to make sure everyone in the group is aware of any food allergies among the members.
Next, you're going to need to get some soup containers for the group. I highly recommend getting delitainers, as they're reusable and have uniform lids for easy stacking. You can opt for either quart or pint containers, depending on whether the group is interested in single servings or shared portions.
Masking tape is also key - this lets you label each container with the soup type and date it was made. If you don't already use masking tape in your kitchen, I highly recommend you start. It'll keep you from sniffing your leftovers to see if they're still good to eat and will help your family members figure out what is in those random containers. If it weren't for masking tape, I'm not sure Joe would ever get a good lunch at home!
We also love creating a shared Google Doc to keep track of who is in the group and what soup everyone is bringing, plus a list of ingredients (or attached recipes) for allergy purposes. This prevents you from ending up with multiple versions of the same soup and creates a historical record so you can remember what soups you make each year.
Next, put some dates on the schedule! Once you receive your delitainers, the organizer can distribute them accordingly (or everyone can be in charge of ordering their own). We happen to love our lady dates, so we generally use the delitainer distribution as an opportunity to hang.
You should also schedule the actual swap date, giving at least two weeks notice. Life gets hectic, people! Make sure you're planning accordingly. I also recommend that you follow local guidance for gatherings; our group decided to meet in a park for one of our nature walks.
Everyone brought a cooler so the soups would stay food safe while we walked, and we could easily snag our soup from each other's trunks while maintaining our safe distance. Now that you get the gist of things, time to plan your own soup swap!
Awesome Soup Recipes
Below are some of my favorite recipes for a soup swap. Remember that the ideal soups should be freezer friendly, so anything cream based is generally off the table. I have a few of my own recipes in the mix, but am also featuring many delightful recipes from other food bloggers that I admire. Dig in!
Need some more sweater weather inspiration? Check out these other tasty recipes that'll warm you up in no time:
- Instant Pot Beef Stew with Bacon
- Mom's White Clam Chowder
- Instant Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Moussaka Style Lamb and Eggplant Shepherd's Pie
If you hosted a Soup Swap with your friends this year, holler and let me know how it turned out! I always love hearing about your adventures in the comments. 🙂
Until next time, friends! I wish you cozy warmth, loving friendship and full bellies.