It’s safe to say that most of us have been to a cookie swap of some sort. Bake a few dozen cookies, come home with different cookies that disappear as soon as you walk through the door because the husband and children (okay, and Mom, too) devour them. They are fun and festive and I, for one, am grateful they only happen once a year. My waist-line couldn’t handle more than that.
That’s why, when I got an invitation from my neighbor to participate in a soup swap, I jumped at the chance. All the fun of a cookie swap without the sugar? Sign me up. The rules were simple. Make a batch of your favorite soup(s) and package them into quart containers or freezer bags. Show up at the designated time and place, and let the swapping begin! (We drew numbers, so whoever got #1 picked a soup, then #2, and so on. Once everyone had one soup, we went through the order again. When someone collected the same number of packages they came with, they were done choosing.) There were only 7 of us there, so it wasn’t too chaotic at all. (Okay, truthfully there were 8, but Jen only came to socialize, she didn’t make any soup.)
I came home with a great assortment of different soups that I popped in the freezer, perfect for lunches or for dinner with a nice loaf of homemade sourdough bread, especially during the hectic holiday season that will be here before we know it. Who says real food can’t be convenient? It was such a success that we’ve decided to have a muffin swap in November (and I’m pretty sure Jen will be baking and participating this time!)
The hardest part was choosing which soup to make, because it had to freeze well. I ended up making a triple batch of this White Chicken Chili soup which yielded me 5 quarts plus enough for us to eat that night for dinner. I also made a batch of Creamy Cheesy Root Veggie Soup because I happened to be swimming in turnips and needed to use them up. (The inspiration for this came from here, but as you can see I changed it up a bit and renamed it. I knew the neighbors would balk if ‘Turnip’ was anywhere in the title. It was a good thing, too, as my friend Robin got harassed for bringing “Turnip Green Soup” but it was all in good fun!) Yield 2 quarts plus a bowl for lunch.
Creamy Cheesy Root Veggie Soup
½ cup butter
6 turnips (about 3” in diameter), peeled and sliced
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken stock
Grated sharp cheddar cheese, to taste
Garlic powder, pepper, and dill to taste
Melt butter in large pan. Add turnips, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and salt. Toss vegetables to coat. Cover and simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes. Add stock. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add cheese and stir to melt. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches with a food processor. After the soup is pureed, add seasonings and adjust to taste.
Lanette Lepper is a beekeeper, chicken keeper, gardener, food preserver, and proud Navy spouse who blogs at www.HomesteadingOnTheHomeFront.Blogspot.com