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Soup Swap

People will be soup swapping all over the place on January 25th! Why? Because it's National Soup Swap Day!  Who knew? Have you ever been to a holiday cookie exchange? This is a similar idea, but it's soup!

What’s a soup swap? A group of friends gathers for a party, each bringing several quarts of soup. One quart from each person gets heated and sampled that night (along with plenty of snacks and wine, of course). Before going home, everyone trades soups.

I recently learned about this National "Holiday," and I think it is such a fantastic, fun way to share recipes and good times with friends and family.  Also, it never hurts to have some delicious servings of soup ready to go in the freezer.

Here's the idea — and a handful of my favorite soup recipes to wow friends and family:

Schedule your Soup Swap Party.

  1. Invite some guests.  {it works best with six} Ask each guest to bring six, separate quarts of frozen soup. Everyone contributes the same number of quarts of soup as there will be people at the party. (For example, if six people will attend, each should bring 6 quarts—five to give away to friends, one to sample that night. You won’t bring home your own soup.) Guests can also bring garnishes like sour cream, wine, snacks or dessert {or the host can provide those}.
  2. Gather your gear Dig in your cupboard for as many mugs, small bowls and spoons as you can find. You’ll also need a few pots for warming soup. (Microwaving quarts of soup one at a time takes too long.)
  3. At the party, put all the soups out where they can be admired.
  4. Let the feast begin As guests mingle, heat up 1 quart of each person’s soup. Don’t worry if you can’t warm them all up at once. It’s actually more fun if you sample one or two at a time so the party moves at a leisurely pace, with guests helping themselves. If you don’t have enough dishes or spoons to last through all the soups—you probably won’t—just do a quick rinse between rounds. Same goes for pots. This is a casual affair!
  5. Draw numbers to begin to swap. Place numbers in a bowl for every person who brought some soup. Have each participant draw a number — this is the order that the soups will be chosen to talk about.
  6. In the order of numbers drawn, have the guests talk about their soup, and why it's special. What are the flavors? Is it organic? Spicy? Sweet? Has it been handed down by Grandma? Guests will leave with 1 quart less than when they arrived, but they’ll have a variety of ready-to-eat homemade dinners to stash in the freezer and enjoy through the winter. 
  7. Also, ask for the recipes before hand and make a little recipe book to give to everyone who participated.. 

What makes a soup freezer-friendly? Choose broth- or tomato-based recipes. Avoid dairy (cream, milk or cheese) and flour-thickened soups, which sometimes become grainy in the freezer. For noodle soups, consider attaching a baggie of dry pasta to each quart because pasta sometimes gets mushy when frozen. (Your friends can cook the noodles separately and stir them into their reheated quart of soup.) Transfer cooled soup to quart-size containers, leaving room for the soup to expand as it freezes. If you use glass containers, be sure the label reads freezer-safe.

You'll have a great night, and everyone will have a wonderful variety of soup to take home!

Soup Ideas:

Hearty Pizza Soup

1 lb ground Italian pork sausage
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
4 1/4 c. water, divided
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dried basil
1/8 t. dried rosemary
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 15 oz jars pizza sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 oz pkg pepperoni, chopped
Garnish- shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped mushrooms

Brown sausage in a skillet over med. heat; drain; Add onion, green pepper and 1/4 c. water; saute until tender. Stir in seasoning. In a large saucepan over med. heat, combine pizza sauce, remaining water, tomatoes, pepperoni and sauce mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to med-low and simmer for about 15 min. As serving time, top each bowl with shredded cheese and chopped mushrooms. Makes 4-6 servings. 

Kitchen Notes
When I made this, I just added all to the crockpot, except garnish and cooked low for 7 hours while I was gone all day. It could be cooked on high for 3 hours. To make it extra hearty, stir in noodles once done.

Chicken Tortilla Soup 


  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
  • 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
  •  _____
  •  Sour Cream
  •  Diced Avocado
  •  Diced Red Onion
  •  Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
  •  Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  •  Cilantro

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! 

Chicken Stew and Dumplings

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
drizzle olive oil
1 small onion, grated (or diced)
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt pepper
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 quarts chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups diced carrots
4 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (recipe to follow)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour, divided
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter (softened)
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water

Combine ingredients. 


On a large plate combine flour, salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken breasts through flour and pat flour onto chicken to get an even coating all over.  

In a large stock pot (12 quart), over medium-high heat, allow pan to heat up.  Once pan is hot enough to cause a drop of water to scatter, drizzle pan with olive oil and add chicken in one layer.  Once chicken is browned on one side, turn chicken.  Brown on the other side.  Remove chicken from pan once both side are browned, and set aside.  Add onions to pan and cook until translucent.  Add garlic.  Stir well and begin adding chicken broth, bouillon cubes, chicken, potatoes, carrots, beans, pepper and Creole Seasoning. Bring to a boil.

In a separate pot melt butter, add 1/2 cup of flour.  Whisk to combine and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Add the milk, whisk until combined well.  (It is okay if you have some lumps, these will cook out in the stew).  Add to stew and stir well to combine.  Bring back to boil, reduce to simmer.  Simmer over low-medium for 1 to 2 hours, until chicken is cooked and stew is thickened.  

After 2 hours of simmering, combine flour, baking powder, salt, butter, milk and water. Stir well with a spoon until combined.  Turn stew to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Drop dumplings by spoonfuls on top of boiling stew.  Cover tightly and cook for 12 minutes.  Remove cover and serve stew.

Emeril's Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup

Queso Potato Chowder

Yield: Makes 9 cups
  • Total:1 Hour, 10 Minutes

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 poblano peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 (20-oz.) package refrigerated Southwestern-style hash brown potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded asadero cheese*
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Toppings: fried corn tortilla chips, coarsely chopped deli-fried chicken tenders, finely chopped red onion, sliced jalapeño peppers, fresh cilantro sprigs


1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add bell pepper and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and cumin, and sauté 5 minutes or until browned and tender. Gradually stir in broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes.
2. Whisk together flour and next 2 ingredients. Stir into potato mixture, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low.
3. Add cheeses, and cook, stirring constantly, until cheeses melt and mixture is thoroughly heated. Serve with desired toppings.

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