So when my friend Clarisa asked me if I wanted to join forces and hold our own mini soup swap, I was totally down. Due to various scheduling issues, we weren’t able to hold it until about a month after the official Soup Swap day, but hey, it’s never too late for soup, right?
|Here’s some of our spread.|
I worked to maximize the space in my studio apartment as much as I could and Clarisa came over to help with some prep for our snacking. We had a nice little spread: GF breadsticks with prosciutto, olives, Clarisa’s homemade tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa fresca, a cheese plate, mango, edamame, and a few other things that I now cannot remember. After eating my weight in guac, it was time to swap some soup.
|These skinny GF grissini went great with prosciutto|
We pulled numbers from a hat to decide the order in which we’d select soup:
We had eight soups to choose from, because one couple counted as one entry.
- Tara brought a delicious-sounding swiss chard and white bean soup that she spotted on Smitten Kitchen.
- My friend Ben brought a homemade minestrone.
- Clarisa made a totally delicious-sounding beet and roasted cumin soup.
- C’s friend Katie brought a zesty tomatillo soup
- Her other friend Farreshte brought a potato-herb soup
- Our classmate Becky brought a chicken chili.
- Daniel and Megan made a “poor man’s lentil with beef.”
- I made a classic stick-to-your-ribs Lickety Split Pea. I used this basic recipe but made several tweaks. For instance, I used olive oil to saute the onion instead of vegetable oil, and I also added garlic because, well, I add garlic to everything. I used a ham shank I picked up at Holzkopf’s instead of a ham hock too, and I subbed out some of the water for homemade chicken stock.
|More of our spread!|
Because we were a smaller group than I’m used to, we didn’t follow the same rules as always. Six quarts seemed like too much for us time-starved grad students so people brought differing amounts and then left with the same amount of soups. It worked out pretty well except for the vegetarian to non-vegetarian soup ratio. Ooops. I was sad to miss out on Clarisa’s beet soup, but I ended up with two portions of the poor man’s lentil.
The best part of the soup swap was that it reminded me of what’s been missing in my life – an apartment filled with the sounds of friends’ laughing and bonding over some good eats and some good wine. Grad school has forced me into a fairly solitary existence as of late, with most nights spent doing work, watching bad movies and drinking wine with my little dog. But this – friends, food, and wine – this is what makes me happier than almost anything in life. And to that, I raise my glass.
Overall, holding my first soup swap went pretty well. I’m hoping to carry on Renee’s tradition.
|I even made little party favors in the form of fridge magnets.|