What do you get when you mix a few friends, a few soups and a chilly afternoon? You get one fantastic get-together! It even has its own holiday. Saturday, Jan. 21 is National Soup Swap Day.
Here’s how to throw the easiest, least expensive, most appreciated party of the season: a soup swap. Invite a small number of friends, asking each to bring several quarts of their favorite homemade soup. One quart of each soup will be heated and sampled during the party, along with breads, snacks and beverages. Before going home, everyone exchanges soups. The best part is everyone goes home with a variety of soups to keep them cozy in the cold days ahead.
Soup swaps work best when you invite four to six people. Everyone brings the same number of quarts of soup as there will be people attending the party. For example, if four people will attend, each should bring four quarts. This makes one quart to sample during the party and three quarts to give to friends. You won’t bring home your own soup. The host will decide if they will provide soup garnishes like sour cream, crackers and breads, along with beverages, snacks and dessert. Or the guests can bring those items, potluck style.
Send invitations two weeks in advance, and be sure to communicate clearly how the swap party works and what each guest should bring on your invitations. Ask about food allergies and share that information. It’s fun to share recipes, so ask guests to provide printed recipes or to send them to you before the party, then you can print them as a party favor. Guests will label their soups with the name of soup, reheating instructions and any additional comments or ingredients if necessary.
As the host, decide how your guests should bring their soups to swap. Guests might bring their soup in containers that they don’t mind giving away. You could consider getting inexpensive quart-size to-go soup containers at a restaurant supply store and sending them to guests before the party. Alternatively, see if everyone has quart-size canning jars they don’t mind swapping.
During the party, you will need to heat one quart of each soup. Alternatively, ask guests to bring soup for sharing in their own slow cookers. The remaining quarts of soups should arrive frozen or refrigerated. I recommend either emptying a shelf of your refrigerator or preparing a cooler to keep the soups cold during the party.
Here’s a recipe for the easiest soup ever. It’s fresh and light, with only three ingredients, and it’s cooked in the time it takes to boil the liquid.
TOMATO TORTELLINI SOUP
Yield: 4 quarts (8 to 12 servings)
Time: 15 minutes
8 cups (64 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, Italian style (with liquid)
1 (19 ounce) bag of frozen cheese tortellini
In a soup pot, heat the stock and tomatoes to a boil over medium-high heat. When at a rolling boil, add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions. Turn off heat and serve hot.
Here are some variations to try:
Chicken Tomato Tortellini Soup — Add 4 cups shredded cooked chicken.
Cream of Tomato Tortellini Soup — Add 1 cup heavy cream after cooking the tortellini.
Fiesta Tomato Tortellini Soup — Add 1/4 cup fresh cilantro and use tomatoes with green chilies. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup.
Want to make winter feel warm and cozy? Enjoy homemade soups and a casual gathering with friends or family. It’s a great excuse for a party that’s mmm, mmm good!
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.