A few years ago, I was at a friend’s house for a meal and we were discussing a popular mom topic: simplifying the meal schedule. She told me that she and a few other families on her block participate in a soup swap and rotate making soups for the group. The idea stuck with me, although at the height of Covid-19 lockdown, sharing food with others didn’t seem like the wisest of ideas. Fast forward to fall of 2021 and I decided to take this idea out of hibernation and put it to use. I asked my neighborhood parent group chat if anyone would want to participate. To my delight, three other moms were excited to jump on board. Thus, our Soup Club was born! We are several months into it now and it is seriously one of the best meal-planning decisions I’ve made.
How Soup Club Works
The premise is pretty simple. Every family takes one week for cooking responsibility, and the other weeks simply receives a delish homemade soup. There are four families that participate in my Soup Club, so I only have to make soup once every four weeks. Granted, it’s a ginormous amount of soup to prepare, but we all find it is more than worth it. I always found that when I make soup for just my family of 5, we always have left overs. And doubling (or in my case, quadrouple-ing!) a recipe hardly takes much more effort.
On the night of Soup Club (for us, it’s every Tuesday), the chef endeavors to have the meal done by around 5 pm. We bring a pot or other container over to the chef-du-jour’s home and fill it up according to our specific family’s needs. Sometimes we linger over a glass of wine and some catching up, and other times we grab-and-run to feed our hungry hoards at home.
Other Tidbits to Consider
Before beginning a soup club, consider the following:
- Are there any vegetarians or vegans in the group? Everyone will need to adjust recipes accordingly. Pro-tip: coconut milk is an excellent dairy substitute in soups!
- Make sure you pick a night of the week that works for everyone. This should be a tradition to enjoy, and not something to stress you out.
- Adding extras goes a long way. For example, one member included individual bags of dill to go with the matzah ball soup she made in November. I give lemons to squeeze on top of my Turkish lentil soup. A baggie of shredded cheddar is a welcome addition to a hearty chili! Little extra touches can truly elevate the meal experience.
Soup Club: Building Community
Before starting our soup club, not all the moms involved knew one another. This fun weekly tradition has become a way to bond with one another, share cooking fails and triumphs, and lighten each other’s cooking load for one night a week. It’s been a terrific way to build community, even in the middle of a pandemic. Also, our Soup Club has been an excellent way to try new recipes we may otherwise have never ventured on our own. We’ve even talked about making our own little Soup Club Recipe Book!
Some of My Favorite Soups
If you want some soup-er inspiration, here are some of my favorite soups that I’ve done for our club that my children also love!