Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Soup Exchange 2009

A group of friends and I have a bunch of different theme parties. They have ranged to sushi making, wine tasting, blind beer tasting (ummm = totally wasted btw) and my annual soup exchange. I got this idea after reading about the idea from Megan. I thought it sounded so fun that I wanted to do my own. This is the second year I have done it and I have to say people really stepped it up this year! The winner was Mike, with an amazing Chocolate Soup. Not only was it Chocolate Soup but he gave each person a basket of raspberries, a bag of biscotti and a bag of mint. It was kinda insane. I was going to bring the recipe today and put it up but I forgot so I put this other AMAZING Soup made by Ali here. It's really really good!


If you want to have your own soup exchange it's easy and everyone has a great time. Here is what I did:

Send out an evite to group so you have an idea of how many people are coming. Each person or couple is asked to bring 4 containers of already made soup. This year people really switched things up by mainly bringing their soup in glass jars. You can also bring it in plastic containers or bags. Presentation does seem to play into who wins so you might want to give some thoughts to this. Mike typed up the recipe really nice and bagged up all the garnishings and added a label to that. Once everyone arrives to your party you count how many different types of soup there are and then put that number in a hat for people to pick from. You have each person or couple pick a number which will decide who chooses first, etc. #1 begins by choosing their first soup and then you move down the line. Repeat process for 4 rounds until there is only one soup left. The first person whose soup goes wins and the last person's soup to go wins a prize. This year winner #1 got 4 vintage napkins, a donut keychain, food erasers and a environmental bag. Winner #2 got some food erasers, vintage cookbooks and this hilarious gag gift that I can't even explain it was so weird. Anyways, fun was had by all.

Here is the gag gift. This duck is meant for certain regions of your body.

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons red chile powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 cups veg stock
2 cups cream
32 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
kosher salt
grated cheddar cheese, toasted walnuts

1. Toast the cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns in a small hot skillet. Let cool and grind together to a powder. Blend with the red chile powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. Pour the stock and the cream into a soup pot over medium-high heat. Cover and heat until steaming.

3. Meanwhile, put the pumpkin in a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and the combined spices. Whisk well to incorporate all the flavors.

4. When the stock and cream are simmering, slowly add a little of the pumpkin mixture. Whisk to break it up Add a little more. Repeat until all of the pumpkin is in the pot. Cover and let simmer until the soup thickens.

5. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, toasted walnuts

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