Candace Karu

Cold Night, Hot Soup, Big Fun


The temperature outside started dropping early Saturday afternoon. By the time my Running Girls arrived for our inaugural Soup Swap, it was a frigid 7º F, perfect weather for what we had planned.


Duncan & Martha both wore sweaters as they perused the soup selections.

We gathered to see what all the Soup Swap fuss was about, but when this group gets together, there had better be good food and good wine to get the party started. To that end, I checked out the website of one of our sponsors, Cabot Creamery, to find a couple of amazing party treats to serve my hungry Girls. I made spicy Cheddar Sausage Balls, using hot Italian sausage and 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar. I also served Warm Artichoke & Spinach Dip with Pretzel Crisps. Finally, because I know it's their favorite, I made my special ¡Holy Guacamole!


Guac and FSTG Blue Corn chips. Adored by all.

Yes, there was wine, but I also made a Signature Cocktail for the occasion. We started the evening raising our glasses and toasting with a Swaptini™. I made it with equal parts of jasmine green tea and vodka and just a splash of St. Germain Liqueur. It was, if I do say so, delightful.


The Swaptini. More than one could get you in trouble.

I was so happy and not at all surprised to see the incredible selections that everyone brought for our Swap -- Thai Fish Stew, Spicy Minestrone, Onion Soup, Curried Lentil, Brazilian Fish Soup, Hearty Winter Vegetable, Chili Cheese Chowder, BLT -- it was an embarrassment of soup riches.


Soup as far as the eye can see.

I hid our Swap numbers in the red & black Eco Bags that Cabot sent for all the Swapees, numbers which determined our swapping order.


Cabot Eco Bags. Good for soup toting or grocery toting. Good for all kinds of toting.

The Official Swap portion of the evening went fairly quickly. Since there wasn't a bad choice in the room, when our number came up, each of us made a mad dash to the table to grab our next container, visions of one less meal to prepare dancing in our heads.


Souptastic is a word that comes to mind.

In addition to our Eco Bags, Cabot supplied us with an incredible door prize for one lucky Swapper. We decided the only fair way to award it was to draw names from a hat.


I mean, really, who wouldn't want to win this Cabot extravaganza?

The lucky winner was my friend Martha, who brought her specialty Hearty Vegetable Soup. Martha left that evening knowing she'll have a house full of happy cheese and soup lovers in the days to come.


The face of surprised delight. Martha, the lucky winner.

The evening was everything we had hoped for - great conversation, amazing food, recipe swapping, soup swapping. But maybe even more important was Cabot's generous contribution to Maine's Good Shepherd Food Bank in honor of the 5th National Soup Swap Day. My Running Girls brought food and donations as well. Neighbors getting together to celebrate friendship and support community -- that's an idea we can all start swapping.


Food bank contributions from the Running Girls.


Thanks to the farm families who own Cabot Creamery for supporting communities around the country.