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Welcome Oregonian Readers!

Portland has long been one of the centers of the Soup Swapping craze with several groups around the city we hear from time and again. Heck, I was thinking about making a drive down next month for a Soup Swap that, admittedly, often has better snacks then what we come up with in Seattle! I admit it, Portland pretty much rules!

We’re thrilled if you’re here for the first time from today’s article in the Oregonian.

Soup Swaps Help Stock Your Freezer and Foster Friendships

Here’s how Soup Swap works: HOW TO
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Back in the Kitchen for Soup Swap 5!

A bowl of soup wouldn’t make a bad lunch in Seattle today. It’s rainy and cool once again.

Last week I heard about an upcoming November soup swap in Oregon, and I got my first email from a friend here in Seattle asking about the soup swap. Oh, January…it will be here soon enough, I’m still not quite ready to let go of summer!

The Fifth National Soup Swap is on January 22, 2011.

While we’re heading back into the kitchen, we’ll ask you’re patience as we get ready to roll out a new site in the next few weeks!

We’re going to make it easier for you to tell others about your swap, post pictures, share recipes. We’re going to have a few more fun downloads to help you organize your swap and few new features that are just going to be a bit top-secret until the new site is up!

We’re also going to be quite a bit busier with our updates on Twitter…making it a great way to connect with other soup swappers and stay up on all the news for our fifth anniversary season!

Until then, we’ve removed a few things from this site to make it easier, though you may find a few broken links from when we switched servers this summer.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to drop me a note at

Visit by Indiana’s Going Local

Victoria Wessler comes to Seattle

Soup Swappers meet in Seattle: Victoria Wesseler and Knox Gardner

Victoria Wesseler has a passion for local food, so when she said she’d be coming to Seattle, it seemed natural to take her to a farmer’s market. What I wasn’t so sure about was if she’d be game to come to my house to cook up what we found she’d never met me. Nothing like flying across the country to go home with some man you’ve met on the Internet!

She found me through and has been hosting them now for several years outside of Indianapolis. Over the long-term, it seems that Soup Swap groups develop unique passions: some focus on fancy packaging, some think up elaborate door-prizes, or put their effort to gathering food for the charity. Victoria’s group challenges each other with preparing soups with locally grown ingredients. I’ve only been through Indiana once and the food I had was found in truck-stops as I blew through, but her blog, Going Local, makes me want to return and savor food we can’t grow well here in Seattle.

It was a real treat to pick a few tasty local things from the Mad/Mad Market that I knew her and her in-town friend would likely enjoy and get a change to talk about the differences in food culture between here and the Midwest.

The thing that has really stuck with me from those conversations was the difficulty that Victoria has getting the local food banks to accept fresh produce grown on their farm. It seems that noone in line at the food bank knows how to cook something that doesn’t come processed and boxed. Here in Seattle, we can’t take enough of our community harvested fruit to the food bank. It’s often ugly and on the verge of being over-ripe, but perhaps with so many immigrants in line, they’ve not lost the knowledge that a handful of plums can be made into many great dishes?

When people ask me about some of the great stuff about Soup Swap, I often talk about the sense of community it can build. For me, personally, that community has spread to organizers across the country and it’s a special treat to meet these folks in person when they’re visiting Seattle.

It’s also a special treat to have someone pass on the best cocktail recipe you’ve ever had and one that you can make out of stuff in your garden! Victoria’s Rhubarbarita Supreme! We made this as the signature drink for my 40th birthday party, and folks, I’d turn 40 every year to drink this. If you live in a place that you can grow rhubarb, you need this recipe.


Get to Know the Neighbors: CD Soup Swap

SoupSwap CD 2010A bit of a parlor game, this is the second Soup Swap Vic and I have hosted where we’ve opened our house to anyone living within our neighborhood, the Central District of Seattle.

Yep, putting the word out to the local press and defining our neighborhood so that anyone living south of Madison, north of I-90, between 14th and 30th is invited…it’s possible we could have thousands of people of all kinds show up.

Lucky for our snack budget we only had about 20 people show, but it’s a great opportunity to get to know the people you might see on your walks, hear about the latest new restaurant or crime from, and of course, find folks nearby that you could borrow the proverbial “cup of sugar” from. It’s good to know your neighbors and to have them know you. Drinking wine, swapping soup, and listening to how much care and interest people put into cooking for others is a great way to start.

Seattle CD Soup: Wednesday!

While the weather has lately been turning towards thought of summer grilling, the last couple days ought to be a reminder, we’ve got lots of gloomy days ahead where a bowl of soup is a perfect dinner.

We’ll be hosting the 2nd Central District Soup Swap in our Colman/Judkins Park home on Wednesday, March 24th.

Last year’s event was a great way to meet neighbors through out the CD and go home with a nice mix of soup for your freezer and we can’t think of why this year’s won’t be just as lovely.

We’re going to broadly define the CD so that if you live North of Atlantic, South of Madison, East of 14th and West of 30th, we’re inviting you!

You can read about Soup Swap (it’s a craze that started right here in Seattle) at For this swap, you’ll want to bring 6 one quart containers for frozen soup. We won’t be specifying its vegan or meat qualities: make what you like. It’s just important to make sure it’s in quart containers and you’ve got six!

We’ll open our house at 6:00 pm for mingling and drinking some wine, with the Telling of the Soup and swapping to commence promptly at 7:00. We’ll have snacks and mingling can go on and on, but if you’re in dash, we should be finished by 7:30.

Of course, if you want to swap soup but can’t make the time, you’re welcome to drop the soup off or send it with someone else, but proxies pick last.

Finally, we’ll ask that everyone bring some caned foods or pasta for the St. Mary’s food bank in Jackson Place.

Email Knox to RSVP and get the address.

Music City’s Soup Swap: Nashville, Tennesse

Our soup swapper, Nandini, from Nashville sent in this report while I was traveling this year. She also sent over a link of amazing pictures. I don’t know if these folks in Nashville are good cooks, but they certainly could take on any group in the country in the packaging and marketing department. It’s amazing!

Here’s Nandini’s report:

Our 3rd Annual soup swap took place on a chilly evening, with 10 participants.

We had Lentil Bean, Indian Dal Shorba, Spicy Black Bean, Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash, Vegetable Corn, Split Pea & Carrot, Creamy Black Bean, Indian Curry Corn, Spinach soups & also a Soup in Jar.

Prizes were given to most popular, copy cat recipe, most healthiest and best decorated one. The prize for Unusual soup of the evening went to the Soup in a jar.

The swap was fun, with the Roasted garlic & Butternut squash being the most popular one. Everyone took home 6 yummy soups to enjoy for the rest of the winter….We look forward to the next one eagerly!

Santa Barbara Sums It Up!

Bente writes, “We too missed the “day” since we were traveling in Ecuador, however January 30th was our 3rd Annual Santa Barbara Soup Swap. It was the most fun you can have with your clothes on!”

Almost Foodies’ Albany Soup Swap

Gorgeous People, Gorgeous Photos: Soup Swap Albany!

Gorgeous People, Gorgeous Photos: Soup Swap Albany!

There’s not much to say about the Albany Soup Swap, that Renée, the creative mind behind Almost Foodies, doesn’t say better than we could. Except this: DAMN, THERE ARE SEXY PEOPLE IN UPSTATE NEW YORK!

This begs the questions: are the people sexy because they love soup? Or does loving soup just give you that extra edge in the sexy column?

Here’s Renée: “the energy in the room was wonderful. everyone was so grateful to be there and meet new people while talking soup. i scheduled the event from 2-4 pm, and when we hadn’t starting talking about our soups around 2:45, i got nervous. but the whole thing ended at 4:05, and i couldn’t believe it! my project management skills are much better than i give myself credit for. speaking of project management, 5 people from work even showed up with their soups! i am lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. i really felt great yesterday.”

Read the whole thing and then skim around for great photos and recipes at Almost Foodies, here! And while you’re doing that, be sure to take a look at Sebastien’s photos on Flickr. What a swell looking afternoon and some great shots of the mayhem and love that is a Soup Swap. They’re great!

National Soup Swap Day!

It’s finally here!

Happy Soup Swapping to everyone across the country!

If you’ve not made your plans, don’t let ceremony stand in your way, just swap when you can… to everyone swapping today: Hurrah! Have a great swap!

Knox Gardner blogging hours ahead of it all in Israel!

Roslindale’s Beer and Soup Swap

Murforelli_Soup SwapTake the Soup Swap concept one step further into GENIUS territory, the fine upstanding design-concious citizens of Roslindale are adding beer.

That’s right: beer!

Here’s the concept: bring a six pack of beer that goes best with your soup. When your soup is picked, that person will also get one of the matching beers. You go home with six quarts of soup plus six beers carefully selected to match your soup.

Um, for the Love of God and all that is Holy: THIS IS BRILLIANT!

I love soup. I love beer. I love Soup Swap.

If you’re in the area, Roslindale is swapping on the Fourth National Soup Swap, January 23. Contact Mark here.