How to Safely Host a Soup Swap

With a few precautions, you can still share delicious soups with friends and family with these tips from our Test Kitchen.

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Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup

Whether it's Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup or Baked Vegetable Soup, there's nothing more comforting than enjoying a hot bowl of soup, especially on a cold night. The one downside to soup, though, is that it's difficult to make just a small amount. You're usually left with a potful of leftovers. While you could easily freeze it (learn how to freeze soup), another option is hosting a soup swap with your friends and family.

Typically, a soup swap would consist of a group of people gathering together to sample each other's soups and then bring home a container of each variety—so instead of gallons of one kind of soup, each person ends up with a fridge or freezer full of different kinds to enjoy. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues though, there's a safer and easier way to host a soup swap that minimizes time spent with people of different households. Check out our tips for hosting a safe soup swap and get delicious recipe inspiration.

How to Host a Soup Swap

Have a Drive-By Instead of a Gathering

Instead of sitting down and enjoying your soups in the moment, turn your swap into a drive-by. If you have the space, have one person set up a table outside their house where everyone can bring their containers of soup. Then, once all the soups are on the table, people can take turns coming up and grabbing the different varieties. This version of the soup swap allows you to stay outside (which the CDC recommends when hosting gatherings) while still seeing your friends and family from a safe distance (even if it's through a car window).

If you don't have the space (or the cars) to host a drive-by event, you can still designate one location as the soup gathering spot and plan times accordingly so everyone can grab a container. If you're indoors, be sure to wear a mask and minimize close contact with those outside your household. Whatever gathering you have, be sure to wipe down any containers you bring home and wash your hands.

Choose the Right Container

When it comes to a soup swap, containers are an important part of the equation. We love these glass containers from Weck Mold for multiple reasons (buy them: Williams Sonoma, $40). First, the containers can hold up to 28.7 ounces of soup, so there's plenty of room. The lid of the container has a rubber ring and two steel clamps that create an airtight seal, which means zero spillage. The container is also microwave- and freezer-safe, so it's easy for others to enjoy the soup now or in the future.

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, we like these quart-size containers from DuraHome (buy them: Amazon, $17). A pack of 24 containers is just $17, or about 71 cents per container, which is great since you'll be giving them away to your friends and family. This plastic container can be used in the freezer and dishwasher for an easy cleanup.

Pick a Soup for Any Occasion

First, before you make your pot of soup, be sure to coordinate with others about the different kinds being made so there's no overlap. (You don't want to end up with six containers of chicken noodle.) Make sure to also ask about any food allergies so that everyone can enjoy the deliciousness. And whatever you cook, be sure to wash your hands before preparing any food.

Speaking of the food, there are endless varieties of soups you could make. You could opt for something spicy with Chipotle Chicken & Vegetable Soup or something creamy with Zuppa Toscana. You could go vegetarian with Mediterranean Cabbage Soup or use a rotisserie chicken to make an easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. Whatever recipe you make, just keep in mind that some soups freeze better than others—and don't forget to save a bowl for yourself to enjoy!

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