There were a record number of soups this year--29 varieties, 168 quarts!, at Kirsten and Ben's swap. You can see my very photogenic corn and potato chowder above.
My favorite part is the Telling of the Soup - sharing with the group about your soup. Dad attended this year with his Ox Tail soup. Here he is telling a sweet story about his sister Joan and the ingredients in his soup -- garden-grown sweet corn and peppers and tomatoes.
We ate very hearty soups when I was young. Stew and chili. The traditional Campbell's tomato and chicken and noodle are still favorites. On a side note, when I lived on the same street in Riverton, New Jersey as Joseph Campbell did from 1872 until his death in 1900.
I'm not very confident in my soup-from-scratch skills so I consulted the family recipes. The fact that I found almost 400 recipes for cakes and cookies and just two for soup - and they both contained hot dogs as the main ingredient explained a lot about my eating habits.
I dug a little deeper and found a spiral bound church cookbook that four of Dad's sisters signed! I forgot that I had it (and had moved it from state to state). I was looking for a recipe that featured corn or that I could add corn to - I had to make room in the freezer if I was going to try to wedge six quarts of soup in there. I found a potato soup from Aunt Mary Alice - and it made me giggle. She's such an intuitive cook that she does not mess with measuring or cooking times or temperatures. Two potatoes for each onion, milk and salt and pepper.
I started with those ingredients, sauteing the chopped onions in butter, adding chopped celery and carrots. To that I added soy milk, potatoes and corn. It did turn out quite nice. And I got to spend some quality time with my beloved stove. I was having so much fun looking at recipes and puttering around the house that I stayed home - on a Friday night. I'm going to be hard pressed to find something to write about for my music column.
The soup swap is just another reminder of why I love the community I'm in. Lovely people that genuinely care about each other and the world we live in. Dad was a hit - here we are with Rachel, who used to live on the other side of the double.
It was a great way to spend Sunday...and guess what I had for supper?
What to host your own soup swap? Check out Kirsten's guidelines here. If you have one, let me know - I'd love to pass it on to Kirsten.