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How to Host a Soup Exchange

We'll walk you through every step of the hosting process.

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Assorted soups from worldwide cuisines displayed in bowls in three colorful lines garnished with cream and herbsShutterstock / Ozgur Coskun

You’ve heard of a cookie exchange, but what about a soup exchange? This fun gathering between friends and family results in a freezer full of fresh, homemade soups. In the following pages, we show you exactly how to plan a soup exchange (it’s easy, trust us!). Plus, we share our favorite, top-rated soup recipes—like these!.

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Soup ExchangeEtsy / PrintLinkStudiosShop

A Few Weeks Before the Exchange: Send Out Invites

The first step in planning a soup exchange is to finalize a guest list: 5-10 people is a good starting point. Next, send out your invitations (like these cute Campbell’s inspired cards)—both snail mail and email work fine. In addition to the date, time and place, make sure you tell guests to bring enough soup for however many swappers were invited. If anyone on the guest list has allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to include that information as well.

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Woman making organic lunch in modern kitchenShutterstock / nd3000

A Few Days Before the Exchange: Make Your Soup

Prep for the party by making the soup you plan to exchange. (Not sure what to make? Skip ahead to find 10 delicious options.) Once your soup has cooled, divide it into freezer-safe containers you can give to your friends, such as glass jars or lidded boxes. Label each container with the date the soup was made and any allergens. Pop the containers in the freezer. Make sure you reserve 2-3 cups of soup for guests to sample during the exchange. Check out 25 more smart freezer tips.

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Soup Recipe 1: Potato Soup

I decided to add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma

Get more of our favorite potato soup recipes here.

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Soup Recipe 2: Stuffed Sweet Pepper Soup

Tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions are the mainstays of my garden. Being the oldest of seven children, I acquired a knack for cooking from my mom. — Joseph Kendra, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
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Soup Recipe 3: Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Soup Recipe 3: Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This satisfying soup with a hint of cayenne is brimming with vegetables, chicken and noodles. The recipe is from my father-in-law, but I tweaked it to make it my own. —Norma Reynolds, Overland Park, Kansas
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Soup Recipe 4: Sandy's Slow-Cooked Chili

This savory chili is hearty and satisfying, and it will warm your guests up, too. —Sandy McKenzie, Braham, Minnesota

See our top 10 chili recipes here.

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Soup Recipe 5: Hearty Split Pea Soup

For a different spin on traditional pea soup, try this split pea soup recipe with corned beef. The flavor is peppery rather than smoky, and a tasty change of pace. —Barbara Link, Alta Loma, California
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Soup Recipe 6: Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon
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Soup Recipe 7: Hearty Quinoa & Corn Chowder

My grandmother lived in the Appalachian Mountains and always served straight-from-the-garden corn and beans. I updated her dish with quinoa and herbs. — Kari Napier, Louisville, Kentucky

See more veggie-packed soup recipes here.

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Soup Recipe 8: Chicken & Broccoli Rabe Soup with Tortellini

With chicken, pasta and a bold tomato broth, this hearty and inviting soup is like a big, comforting hug in a bowl! —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Soup Recipe 9: Couscous Meatball Soup

This soup will warm you up and takes just 25 minutes of prep time, making it a perfect weeknight meal. —Jonathan Pace, San Francisco, California
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Soup Recipe 10: Hearty Vegetable Soup

A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut
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Christmas present wrapping supplies. Shutterstock / Steve Cukrov

The Day of the Exchange: Get Ready to Label

Before your guests arrive, set up a labeling station. This area will allow guests to earmark their soup containers with recipe names, reheating instructions and the names of soup makers (in case they want to ask for the recipe!). For a simple labeling station, fill mason jars with gift tags, then lay out an assortment of pens, a roll of twine and scissors.

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tomato soupShutterstock / Shebeko

The Day of the Exchange: Set Up Tasters

It’s no fun to simply exchange the soup and leave—guests will want to taste the fruits of everyone’s labor! Set up a tasting table with small bowls, spoons, soup toppers, crackers, breads and any other add-ins. As guests arrive, have them add their reserved soup to the tasting table.

Editor’s Tip: Ask guests to bring their tasters in a slow cooker so it stays warm as you eat.

See our most surprising (but delicious!) soup toppers. 

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Girl's hands holding the package on the tableMaxim Minaev/Shutterstock

The Day of the Exchange: Time to Swap!

Once everyone’s tasted the soups, have everyone set out his or her frozen containers of soup. Let guests grab a container of each. Give guests a box or bag so they can easily carry their bounty home. Once everyone’s gone, stand back and relish at your new freezer full of soup. Enjoy!

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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