It seems like each holiday season I get invited to a cookie swap and each year I politely decline. It’s not that I’m a cookie hater – quite the contrary in fact. It’s just that December is already such a sugar high that the last thing I need to do is introduce dozens and dozens more little temptations into the equation.
But when our friends recently invited us to a soup swap, well now this was an idea I could get behind. The concept is simple – each couple brings 4 containers (holding 4 cups each) of their soup along with soup to sample at the party. Basic enough indeed but whenever there’s something like this – something that has a touch of competitiveness and especially if it involves soup or chili, my husband and I both have to throw our hats in the ring, so we made two soups. We strategized trying to anticipate what other people were likely to bring – chicken noodle, tomato, vegetable, chili (even though chili technically isn’t soup in my opinion, but we knew someone wouldn’t adhere to the strict soup guidelines that we do, and we were right – although I have to say their white chili was excellent so they are forgiven), and quickly devised a plan to take our entries as far away from the predictable as possible. That’s where the collaboration stopped though!
Going back to his Wisconsin roots, my husband made a Beer Cheddar Soup but took it to a whole new level by making homemade pretzels to pair with it. I decided to take my selection in an ethnic direction and chose a soup that is seemingly a favorite of anyone that tries it: Tom Ka Gai.
There were lots of soups to taste that evening but the ones that had a distinct advantage were the ones that were brought in crock pots and stayed warm making us think that that should be a prerequisite in the future. The name of every person that brought a soup went into the hat and when your name was drawn, you got to go pick a package of soup to take home. After we went through the first time, all the names went back into the hat and round 2 started and so on with rounds 3 and 4 until all the soup was claimed.
The soup swap was several weeks ago now but I am still enjoying the outcome. More than once, in the morning when I haven’t known what I was going to take for lunch, I have reached into the freezer to find my answer. Warm and comforting on more than just a food level. I see a souper new tradition in the making.