Chilly fall days are best handled with a pot of comforting soup. But one can only take so many bowls of beef and barley or chicken tortilla. Thankfully, soup swaps can lessen the monotony of one-pot wonders and offer warming fellowship.

A soup swap takes its inspiration from the traditional holiday cookie swaps, in which friends get together to exchange recipes and prepared goodies, each person taking home a small haul of sweet treats. For a soup swap, simply replace the cookies with a quart of prepared soup or stew.

The event works best with roughly six participants: a host and five friends. Each person brings six quarts of prepared soup. These can be frozen, canned or refrigerated. One quart is for sampling at the party; the others are passed out to guests for taking home. The host can supply soup necessities like crackers and cheese, cornbread or crusty rolls.

These recipes are great for a soup swap, freeze well and make at least six generous servings.


If freezing soup, use containers that do not need to be returned to the owner. Consider using 32-ounce plastic deli containers, which can be purchased at restaurant supply stores and online.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe, as seen on The Barefoot Contessa.

  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked
    and shredded
  • 2 c. chopped onions
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 2 c. chopped carrots
  • 4 chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock or broth
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garnishes (chopped cilantro, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, tortilla chips)

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese and broken tortilla chips.

Sherried Tomato Soup

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman,

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 46-ounce bottle low-sodium
    tomato juice
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chicken base
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. cooking sherry
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh basil

Sauté diced onions in butter and oil until translucent. Add tomato juice, canned tomatoes, chicken base, sugar, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream* and stir. Add parsley and basil to taste. Adjust other seasonings and serve with crusty bread.

*If freezing, omit cream in this recipe. Add cream to taste when soup is reheated.

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