This is my third time hosting a Soup Swap at my house. I love having this party so much, but I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of work… for your guests. As for me as the hostess? Cheese platter, wine, seltzer, and mopping the long overdue floor. Oh, and of course my husband will have you know he spent 45 minutes doing the dishes from the last 2 days.
Every year there’s suggestions from guests about how to make the party better, and that’s awesome. The original idea came from this website. This year, where guests brought a crock-pot with the soup in it so we could all taste the soup in my kitchen made it an even easier dinner party, and helped us all step up our soup-making game. I provided 16oz containers to package up our soups. Easy peasy, and made for that stunning rainbow assortment of soups above.
As an aside, if I had been able to tell my 22 year old self that in 7 short years I’d be hosting a party where it’s required that you can make something (and not just pick up a bag of chips) I’d have laughed at you. Here’s the list of foods I knew how to cook from s
cratch a box at age 22.
Short list, huh?
Oh, the times have changed.
Here are two things that helped me change in the meantime.
Here’s the soup I chose from Bittman’s Cookbook, slightly modified.
Lentil Soup with Coconut.
Makes 4 Servings. 1 1/2 Hours, Largely unattended.
- 2-3 T. vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1 T minced, peeled, fresh ginger
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 t tumeric
- 2 T McCormick red curry powder
- 1 T McCormick yellow curry powder
- 1 c chopped canned tomato
- 1/4 c shredded coconut
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 1/2 c cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 1/2 c red lentils
- 1 qt vegetable stock
- 1 can (12 oz) coconut milk
- Put the oil in a 5 qt saucepan over med-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to med-low. Add the squash and cauliflower and allow to cook until vegetables are semi-soft (15-20 minutes).
- Turn the heat back up to med-high and add tumeric and curry powder. Cook until dark and fragrant. Stir in tomato, coconut, zucchini, and lentils. Add the stock and coconut milk, then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to med-low again so that it gently boils.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until lentils and vegetables break apart, 30-40 minutes. Add water as necessary, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve. Preferably with a few shreds of coconut on top.