saturday night was my first (hopefully, annual) soup swap. i stumbled across this idea via not martha. it only took a little more surfing to come up with national soup swap day. i seriously had no idea there was such a thing! how could i have not known? it's totally up my alley.
since the official day had already passed, i said, "oh, well. guess i missed that opportunity." ha HA! that would have been the old me. the new me said, "i'm totally doing this next month."
so i printed up invites, in Word, people! i didn't even get all fancy with my graphic design. i quickly mailed them off to 12 of our friends who enjoy food as much as we do. (i shamelessly lifted most of the wording straight from the soup swap site.) the gist? each person (or couple) makes a big batch of their fave soup, divided into 6 one quart containers. then you swap. and you go home with 6 different soups.
this was an incredibly easy gathering for me to put together. we opted to do coffee and desserts, rather than wine and cheese. i suppose you could also offer nothing, and stick to the swap itself. but i find there is so much fellowship in sharing food, and i wouldn't feel like a proper hostess if i didn't put out a little something, a little amuse-bouche (like that, dontcha?)
brownies and turtles. couldn't have been easier. oh, and apples with dip for the non-chocolate people. (there weren't any.) but they loved the dip! and the apples! and my sister brought swiss cheese fondue. because she had a lot of swiss cheese. so, bread and cheese and chocolate, and, oh right, we're here to talk about soup.
lovely airpots from our catering days. pretty utilitarian, but we use them all. the. time. look how i was able to identify the coffee using amanda's snazzy magnets! (by the way, see the little soup logo? word clip art. and i used it everywhere...)
guests started arriving, and the soup started piling up. i made table tents so that each soup would be labeled during the swap. we had 9 positive RSVPs, but in the end, one couple had to back out. (i think it's fun to have more than 6 soups, that way, there is more sport to the swapping.)
the soups in attendance were:
italian sub stoup
italian wedding soup
garlic basil tortellini soup
dried red bean soup
here we are, starting to gather for the "telling of the soup." there were some cute stories behind the soups, and even if people thought it was bit corny to go around the room and talk about soup, it definitely helps to know what the soups are. plus, this group was definitely not above 'trash talking' each other.
we then drew numbers for the order of the swap. the party moved into the kitchen for the actual swapping. we gave a door prize to the maker of the 'first soup picked' (an apron with our soup logo on it) and the 'last soup picked' (three wooden spoons). [i think next time we will also give a prize for the first soup gone.]
i had gotten some paper grocery bags with handles for people to carry their soups home. i didn't even think that some people would bring their soups in coolers, so they automatically had something to carry their soup in. just a little tidbit for you.
at the end of the evening, all that was left was this:
oh, and this:
wrap up -
do this. it was an awesome evening. we are already planning on a 'pasta sauce' swap for the spring.
don't forget to ask people to bring copies of the recipes to share. i sort of forgot to put that on our invite.
keep your host/hostess duties light so that you can really relax and enjoy the swap.
be corny. corny is fun.
i think next year i will ask each participant to also bring some canned soup so that we can make a donation to the food pantry as well.
over-invite. i think the more soups to swap, the more interesting it will be. ask for RSVPs, and then track everybody down for another RSVP. don't get me started. RSVPs are an entirely different blog entry for me...