I decided to start a soup swap. I got the idea from a Facebook post my cousin Zoe was tagged in. Her group each makes a batch of soup over the weekend and then each member gets a pint of each kind on Monday which they all eat for lunch that week.
That sounded like one of the best ideas I had heard in years so I fired up the ol’ e-mail and proposed the idea to my future broth buddies. Everyone I approached with the idea was thrilled to try some new food and do something a little different during these cold, dark days. Even though we are all making and receiving the same amount of food, somehow it feels like we all come out ahead.
We decided that 5 or 6 pints of soup would be a lot of soup for a week so we arranged our soup swap a little differently. Each person chooses a week and then sometime during that week, they will bring a quart of soup to each member. We all work in the same school so the delivery is easy no matter which day of the week the soup is made.
If the idea of a soup exchange appeals to you, here are some things to consider that will help with your success.
1) Choose participants with similar sized families. As a household of one, I need far less soup to make a meal than a family of five. In my group we are all either single or only have one other person at home.
2) Make sure everyone is game for what they are getting into. In our group we have one person who does not enjoy beef, one who hates beans and someone who does not eat dairy. If we tried to accommodate all of those preferences, this would be way too hard to enjoy. Each of us is willing to find a way to enjoy the soup we get from the other members, even it means eating a meal or two over the course this exchange that we would not otherwise choose.
You may want to talk to the members of your group to be sure you are all on the same page before you begin to avoid hurt feelings or unhappy friends.
3) Decide on the portion to be shared and choose standard containers. Knowing how much each person is expected to contribute will help plan how much soup to make and keep the playing field even.
4) Decide on the distribution method. Will you all make soup the same weekend and share it on Monday, putting it in the freezer when you get home? Will each person be responsible for their week week and handle delivery?
5) Don’t get in over your head. We have 7 people in our group and it is really too large. If you are not used to making two gallons of soup, it’s hard to gauge how much you will end up with. After trying this, I suggest four or five people in a group.
6) Do what works for you. If you only exchange one single-meal batch of soup with your sister-in-law, that is great! If you have list of 20 people who draw names each week at random, fine! There are no rules or wrong ways of doing this.
Have some fun and pass the crackers!