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How to Host a Soup Swap

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Most of us are familiar with cookie swaps, invite a few friends, everyone brings cookies and goes home with a large assortment. It can be a very fun thing, I wanted to repeat the idea in a healthy fashion with some friends who also happen to be amazing cooks. Instead of a cookie swap, I decided to host a soup swap. This is a great way to get together with friends and get some tasty meals at the same time.

Gather friends and healthy meals when you host a soup swap by following these easy steps.

Decide on Soup Swap Format

You can choose to swap soups in a couple of different ways:

  1. A Small Gathering: Invite 4 people. Each person brings 4 quarts of soup. A the end of the swap everyone goes home with 4 quarts of soup (1 from each of the other swappers). Obviously, this method could be applied to larger groups but keep it reasonable, very few folks want to make 10 or more quarts of soup.
  2. A Large Gathering: Invite as many folks as desired and have each person bring 5 quarts of soup. At the end of the swap, people can choose which of the soups they most prefer, each person leaves with 5 quarts.

Set Guidelines

Obviously, set a date and time and invite your friends. Let them know the type of format chosen. Try to invite friends with similar eating habits or make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the types of soup to swap. Essentially, don’t invite 1 vegan to a swap with mostly meat eaters without setting some guidelines. If someone is allergic to peanuts, just let everyone know to avoid that ingredient. This doesn’t have to be complicated but a few guidelines will help everyone.

Ask folks to bring recipes too, but that doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule.

Make the Swap an Event

Make it a fun and casual event. Have some snacks and drinks and plenty of seating. Have a separate table or counter for folks to put out their soup offerings. Allow folks to mingle and talk, however you would normally host  gathering. Most importantly have fun and connect with each other.  As folks leave, have them take their soups home with them.

While we don’t need a reason to gather our tribes, a soup swap is a fun excuse to have everyone over. Afterwards, you have the beginnings of a few tasty meals too. This winter warm up the body and soul by hosting a soup swap.

Have you ever hosted a soup swap? How did it go? Would you add anything to my list of how to host one? If you haven’t hosted one, will you think about it now?

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Keena

Wednesday 18th of May 2016

Is the recipe of this soup Tunisian Chickpea and lentil on your website?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Thursday 19th of May 2016

It's not though it's loosely based off the recipe in Mollie Katzen's cookbook, Vegetable Heaven

dmarie

Monday 11th of January 2016

This January, I'll be hosting my 5th Soup Swap! I took last year off and apparently everyone really missed it, since this year, I think everyone I invited is planning to come - eek! Alas, it's such a joy! Here's how I pull off my swap:

1. I invite folks about a month in advance. It's always the last Sunday of January from 3pm-5pm. This gives people time to think about their soup choice as well as a few weekends to actually make the soup (or the weekend of if time is tight). I ask folks to bring 6 quarts of soup in 6 separate containers, labeled with recipe card (for allergies and to learn how to make an amazing soup).

2. In the invite, I share that folks who love to make appetizers or small desserts are welcome to bring something for fun, but it's not necessary. I provide basic drinks and apps. Several friends do, others don't, it's a win-win.

3. About a half hour in, everyone gathers in the living room and we all go around to introduce ourselves and then everyone shares the name of their soup and why they chose to prepare it. Every story is always fun to hear, seriously. And over the years, some attendees have grown skilled at "pitching" their soup.

4. Then I throw numbers into a hat for the number of soups folks brought. So, if there are 10 people present who made soups, there are 10 numbers in the hat. And everyone draws a number. The person who draws 1 gets to pick the first soup. The first soup chosen wins a prize! Usually, it's a loaf of fresh bread or a ladle or similar. After everyone has picked one soup, we re-draw numbers. Once everyone gets the hang of it, it runs pretty smoothly and everyone is chatting and having fun. When it's over, everyone leaves with 6 different soups. Some are frozen already others aren't. No one has ever actually canned a soup to my knowledge. I literally eat my soups within the week - seriously. It's amazing to have homecooking every day for the week, and all kinds of flavors.

Good luck to everyone trying it out! I guess my final piece of advice would be that you as the host should make your soup well before the swap so that you're not cooking and doing apps/drinks and cleaning and hosting...learned that lesson quick.

Katie

Tuesday 12th of January 2016

This is the same way I've hosted a soup exchange - drawing numbers. It worked really well. We asked everyone to bring 6 individual quarts plus extra for tasting. We spent the first hour tasting everyone's soups (some in small saucepans on my stovetop, others in crockpots). I provided bread, crackers, & drinks. Friends who didn't want to exchange soup but still wanted to come brought an appetizer or dessert. To speed things up a bit, we had people choose two different soups each round, so we only did three rounds. It was a lot of fun and my soup didn't last more than a week either!

Homespun Seasonal Living

Tuesday 12th of January 2016

Thank you so much for sharing this great information and amazing tips. I love your ideas and look forward to trying the number in the hat for my next swap.

[email protected]

Sunday 10th of January 2016

I love this idea. Can you pressure can any soup-even if it is chunky. I adore pressure canning.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Sunday 10th of January 2016

You can pressure can soups - I actually wrote a post about how to can those homemade soups here: https://homespunseasonalliving.com/home-canning-soup/

Daja

Sunday 10th of January 2016

This is fantastic!!!!

Renee Kohley

Sunday 10th of January 2016

I just love this idea!

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