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Posted by on Dec 15, 2011 | 4 comments

Make, Freeze, Swap: How to Host a Soup Exchange

Make, Freeze, Swap: How to Host a Soup Exchange

I was very excited when I received my invitation to attend the third annual soup exchange hosted by my friend Lori. She gave some serious thought to the logistics of the event and in year three, she pretty much has it down to a science.

What’s a soup exchange? It’s when several invitees make a different kind of soup each. At the event, everyone exchanges some of their soup with the others to take home. Simple as that.


Lori did some online research and discovered that these events are quite popular. There’s even an annual soup swap day on January 21. You can go about the exchange in many different ways. Here’s how we did it this time around:

Lori sent out an evite and got 8 respondants, each of whom shared a soup recipe with her. Mine was mushroom barley. A week before the exchange, she sent out these instructions:

1. Make soup – enough for at least 6 cups per person, including you. That’s 48 cups!


2. Pack in freezer bags, label, and freeze. Freeze laying down flat to save room. Some use plastic storage but in our small-space homes, bags use less room.


3. Bring frozen soup to the party. One woman brought hers in a big cooler, which was handy for keeping the other bags as cold as possible during the party.

4. Warm and taste the different kinds. We had the following contributions at our soup exchange:

  • Vegan coconut, pumpkin, and black bean (with toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Taco soup with beef
  • Mushroom barley
  • Spicy garbanzo bean and turkey sausage
  • Potato and ham


5. Swap.


At the party, Lori heated up 3 cups of each type of soup so we could taste each one, one after the other. We snacked on bread and drank wine and chatted about this or that. An altogether lovely late afternoon get-together.

Then, we swapped frozen bags and went home with an abundance of frozen soup, plus a nice collection of recipes and reheating tips.


I’m just now heating up some spicy garbanzo soup for my lunch.

Tips and Lessons Learned. At this soup exchange, we discovered some new insights about the logistics.

  • One thing that may be wise: Keep the invite list small. Making 6 cups times any number greater than, say 5, is so much soup, you almost need a commercial kitchen to make it!
  • Make the soup days ahead and not the weekend of the event. That way, you can freeze it in advance and you can make sure you make enough in the first batch.
  • Store in freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer. This it the most space-saving storage method.
  • Have a cooler or two on hand at the event to keep contributions cold before the swap starts in earnest.

Posted by Leslie


  1. Now that’s a cool idea. I’ve done cookie, fudge, etc. exchanges for the holidays but never soups. (Well, until now. :p /running off to steal idea)

  2. I’ve never heard of a soup (or any food type) exchange before. This is interesting! I can see it being implemented in a family gathering where a small group of participants taste and exchange their soups aside from enjoying the festivities.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for the idea! !

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