Seattle Soup Swap

Hello, welcome! I know you’re here to read about soup swap, but stick around – it’s more than just soup at Nerd’s Eye View. You might also enjoy:

or, who knows, maybe not. There’s stuff about cooking seafood, local and international adventures, ukulele days and nights… take a look. And welcome, future soup swappers! Be sure to check out Soup Swap, too.



An array of soup

My friend Knox is quite the genius at times. He hosted the first soup swap several years back. Soup swap, for those not in the know, is the culinary equivalent of tossing your keys in the bowl and ending up in the neighbor’s bathtub the next morning, wondering what why you had that last Manhattan.

Actually, that’s not it at all. Here are this year’s instructions.

Suffice to say, the rules are pretty simple.

You bring six 1 quart containers of frozen soup of one kind. We will then draw numbers and take turns picking out different soup. You will then leave with six 1 quart containers of different soup. Bring whatever soup you like to cook best. For the vegetarians among you, we don’t set rules on type of soup to bring, though usually there’s more than a few really delicious veggie options, but be forewarned it could be that you end up with 4 veggie soups and two meat soups you’ll have to share with your meat eating pals. Of course, when you do this, you will be regaled as a hero.

The most common question is “Can you have a proxy?” The answer is yes, of course, you just have to figure out how to get your soup to where it needs to be. And then figure who’s going to draw numbers for you. Proxies pick last in order.

Carrie presents

This year’s soup swap was a smashing success, as always. I have a freezer bursting with homemade soupy goodness and so do 12 other happy Seattle residents.

The instructions for arriving with your soup are clear – but a tip for you. Most soup recipes don’t make quite enough soup. Double the recipe when prepping for soup swap.

There’s excellent protocol for the distribution of the soup as well. Follow these guidelines.

  1. Gather the soup (and the chefs) in a central location. Admire the quantity and variety.
  2. Go around the room and have each chef describe his or her creation.
  3. Place numbers in a hat equal in number to the particpants. Each person picks a number.
  4. Number 1 picks one soup, and so on, until everyone has had a go. Repeat until all the soup is gone.
  5. Proxy pickers (for those who sent soup with a friend but did not attend) go last. You need not be present to win, but you do need to be present to get first crack at selecting.

Lonnie gets the door prizeThis year’s soup swap included door prizes – wooden spoons! – for first soup picked and last soup picked. Paul and Michelle brought accessories for their soup – goldfish crackers, those sneaky devils! – thus raising the stakes for next year. I totally blew it by bringing an untested soup; there was little interest in it, though it surprisingly, it did not end up as the last soup picked.

Paul and Michelle raise the stakesWhile you can make a dinner party out of soup swap, the best swaps I’ve attended are wine and cheese type affairs. Guests arrive, snack a little, drink a little, swap soup, and get the hell out. Less, stress for the hosts and easy to do on a school night.

On the menu at Seattle households for the next few weeks around town?

  • Thai chicken soup
  • Spicy tomato with goldfish crackers
  • Roasted garlic, kale, and white bean minestrone
  • Creamy almond soup
  • Veggie chili
  • Ranger Dan’s dal
  • Holiday butternut squash soup
  • Classic potato cheddar
  • …and several more that I can’t remember right now.

Read about last year’s Boston Soup Swap here. And there are a few photos from last night’s swap here.

Why not make soup swap a winter tradition in your home town?

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18 thoughts on “Seattle Soup Swap

  1. Wow, what a great idea. I love cooking and eating soup on these rainy cold days. I’ll have to start the Great Canadian Soup Swap in Vancouver when I get back from Costa Rica.

  2. Now THIS is an idea even a non-cook like me can get behind…brilliant! The folks at work want to have a cookie swap…the idea being to go home for holiday break with SIX DOZEN Xmas cookies. I ask you, do J and I really need to be eating SIX DOZEN COOKIES?! I rest my case.

  3. Being souplovers who blog about nothing but soup, this is right up our alley. We’d thought about a soup party, but a winter soup swap is an even better reason for a get-together. Can’t wait to have our own! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Frickin’ brilliant idea! I’m already figuring out what other types of food I can swap. I wonder if anyone would do a chicken swap?!


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