soup swap 2k11: Chicago-style

Every year my friends Renee and Jason hold a soup swap and it’s always a good time. I was pretty bummed to have to miss out on this year’s event, which would have marked the 5th National Soup Swap.

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.
This entry was posted in chicago, party, potluck, soup, winter. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to soup swap 2k11: Chicago-style

  1. renée says:

    yeah! looks like a fun and delicious time. i’m glad you were able to get a soup hang on in your studio apartment. small spaces make for better swaps! well done!

  2. Pingback: Getting ready for Soup Swap 2k13 » The Life of My Mouth

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