Soup exchange

illustration by Mark stivers

It’s getting cold out, and for me that translates to soup weather. I usually end up making huge batches of pho, pots of chicken noodle and woks bubbling with curries of all kinds. I make them on Sunday night and pop the rest into plastic containers in the fridge, so I have something healthy and flavorful to take to work for lunch. But as warming as these soups may be, after three or four days of leftovers, it all gets a wee bit tiring.

A soup exchange, however, is an excellent remedy to midday-meal doldrums. Call up friends who are willing to participate and request they make a batch of soup that makes about one to two servings for each person coming to the exchange. Put the servings in cheap, reuseable plastic containers, label and freeze.

At the exchange, everyone trades and gets to leave with a variety of homemade soups. I also try to make recipe cards so my guests can remake the soup at home. Put out some food and wine while you’re at it to make it a more enjoyable get-together.