This is the fifth year that my friends at almost foodies have held a soup swap, and from the sound of it this was probably the most successful. An amazing 167 quarts of soup exchanged hands and everyone went home happy.
The concept is pretty simple: bring six quarts of soup, trade, and leave with a different six quarts of soup (actually I think last year I ended up with one of my own). The idea came when Knox Gardner started swapping soup with his friends in the late ’90s, and in 2006 decided to unleash the idea on the Internet. It went, as the kids say, “viral” and here we are five years later, with national soup swap day. You can read more of the story at the official soup swap website; yes, the official soup swap website is a thing.
Having a freezer stocked with your personal soupsplosion is great, but it’s all about the gathering. Before the draft-style swapping, everyone presents their offering; there were multiple stories of soups inspired by restaurants, blogs, and family members (or soon-to-be family members), some good jokes, and plenty of delectable salesmanship. While it’s not a competition, everyone wants to bring their A game and nobody wants to have multiple containers of their soup standing at the end. If that happened to you, I feel your pain — last year I didn’t realize that half of the event is about selling your own soup and my butternut squash description failed to impress. No worries though; I guarantee someone will later tell you that they loved it, whether yours was the first picked or last.
I had planned to get a list of all soups present but that was too difficult a task for my sloppy handwriting. But here are the soups I went home with:
– Southwestern Pumpkin
– Meaty Minestrone
– Red Lentil with Coconut Milk (and lentils glued to the label)
– Black Eyed Pea and Collard Greens
– Golden Squash Bowl
– Vegetable Lentil
The golden squash bowl I went for first; I love squash soups and it had white miso and truffle powder — like I said, people brought their A game. I’d love to hear about the soups I missed; feel free to leave a comment about the soup you made or one you ate!
The capital region has an astounding density of bloggers and several showed up to talk soup. Of course my friends Sebastien (the red lentil soup was his) and Albany Eats were there, and I’m pretty sure I saw DelSo and Elizabeth Likes. If I missed you, let me know so I can add your link!
It’s a little hard to believe so much awesomeness can be contained in one small house, but it happened, and it was great. I enjoyed meeting some new people who share a love for soup and give a big shout out to our hosts for all their hard work, I know it was not easy to clean up after. My only complaint is that national soup swap day only comes once a year…