The Only Party Invitation We Want This Time of Year

·Editor in Chief

Photo credit: Getty Images

It’s Monday, and you’re at home. It’s the stuff dreams are made of! You don’t want to leave the house—why would you trade pajamas for proper pants?—and yet. Part of you senses this could be the beginning of a slippery slope; it’s the season when even the sunniest Sally is in danger of becoming a homebound crank.

We’re here to help. The best way to interact with other humans this time of year does not involve noisemakers. It won’t be a reprise of the rich, rare roasts and flutes of Champagne you knocked back about four weeks ago. We have something quieter (and healthier) in mind.

We humbly present a party that won’t pose a threat to your sanity or your resolutions. It’s called a soup swap, and it’s understated, wholesome, and will leave you with a freezer full of healthy dinners (which is, we imagine, just about your speed right about now). 

What It Is: The 8th Annual Soup Swap happens this year on January 24, and, as the name implies, it’s like a cookie swap. But with soup! What started as an impromptu party when Seattleite Knox Gardner made a big pot of soup he tired of eating himself, has turned into a cross-country movement, thanks to a little thing called the Internet. But the roots are as analog as can be (“We see ourselves as a loose confederation of folks,” the explaination on the Soup Swap website goes, “who love good food, strengthening community, and think that it is one way to be a little more focused on simple things that matter most.”) We see ourselves the same way, and love a soup swap as a sweet, low-key way to gather some friends on a dark winter night, before sending everyone home with the best kind of party favor—a dinner somebody else made.

What You Need: Very little. A soup recipe that freezes well. Six one-quart sized containers, be they pretty Weck jars or freezer bags. An empty freezer. If you’re hosting, make two soups: one to swap, and one to serve while people swap. Add a loaf of bread, wine, bowls, spoons, and maybe a homespun soundtrack of the Louvin Brothers.

How It Works: Each guest makes a big pot of soup at home which they bring packaged into six one-quart containers. Upon arrival, everyone swaps each container of her soup for a new vessel of someone else’s creation. Arrive with six containers of one thing, go home with six containers filled with a rainbow-variety of offerings. Score. 

French Onion Soup

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Barbara Lynch’s Spicy Tomato Soup

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Sausage and Kale Soup

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Smoky Potato Soup with Chorizo

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Broccoli-Apple Soup

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Black Bean Soup

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