Two years ago, right after our twins were born, friends and family gave us one of the best gifts possible for parents of multiples (aside from love and support and all of that other warm fuzzy stuff)! They filled our freezer, fridge and pantry with tasty, healthy, oven-ready meals that kept us all very well fed over the next month or two while we adjusted to life as parents. Summer turned into autumn, our freezer stock grew thin and we started to rely on take-out too much, those $5 Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready pizzas were way to easy to grab in a pinch. We started to brainstorm a way to re-stock without days of cooking, or begging friends and family for more food. That’s when I came up with the idea of holding a soup exchange. This is a great way to try new recipes, try new soups and socialize with friends and family – all while stocking your freezer with tasty, nutritious food, just in time for Fall.
Participants made enough soup for 10 servings that they would divide into five reusable containers – one for tasting, four for trading. They also bring print outs of the recipe so people can check ingredients before tasting if they are nervous about allergies or have specific diet requirements. This also gives people a chance to prepare favourite recipes at a later time, when they run out of tasty soup. After the tasting, people draw numbers to determine their selection order.* The following day the host will email the recipes to all participants. This event has run very smoothly in our social circle with 8-12 participants total for two years now.
Below is my soup recipe (that I found on line, you can make it vegan, or not so vegan) This recipe was a big hit at the second annual exchange this past winter. This is a great way to socialize and get some healthy, bulk food together as a parent or busy person at any stage. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup chopped ripe banana
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 whole clove
- 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (I’ve used both)
- 3 cups canned pure pumpkin
- 3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup condensed milk (or almond milk for the vegans – whisk in a little corn starch to get condensed milk consistency)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
Place olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 6 ingredients and saute until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to processor and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Add broth and all remaining ingredients. Boil soup over medium-high heat 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Divide, salt and pepper to taste, Enjoy!
The vegan recipe of this post originally appeared on my post for a local blog Junction Parents.
*We use the following model after the draw repeated to make things a little kinder for whoever draws the last pick – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – and repeat for picking until all soups are selected.