Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recap- Homegrown's Cambridge Soup Swap


This past Saturday at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, Bostonist attended our first official Soup Swap, hosted by Homegrown.org. A website founded by Farm Aid to help spread their message, Homegrown.org provides a community for people dedicated to supporting small, local farms, home gardening efforts, great cooking, good fresh food, and a connection to the source of our food.

This Saturday marked the second soup swap in the Boston area run by Cornelia Hoskin of Homegrown.org. The last swap in January was hosted in Cornelia’s home and was reportedly a roaring success. This spring’s swap was moved to Atwood’s to ensure enough room for the participants hoping to stock up on enough soup to last them through the rest of the cold weather.

The concept behind the swap was simple: everyone participating in the swap was asked to make six quarts of soup and separate it into six different containers, preferably quart sized Ziplocs. At the swap, they got to choose six other quarts of soup. Thus they left with the same amount of soup they arrived with, but now six different varieties instead of just one. In addition to their soup for swapping, participants were also asked to bring a can of soup or a monetary donation for the Greater Boston Food Bank.

This Bostonist forgot to label her cream of broccoli soup, but Cornelia was prepared with a pile of Post-its and pens. As people trickled in, the soups were placed on a central table and momentarily forgotten while people mingled. Everyone was really friendly and of course shared a love of cooking and good fresh food. Recipes were swapped, occupations discussed, drinks drunk, and new friendships were made by all. Once all of the participants had arrived, the soups became the center of attention. Each participant drew a number and, once the order was established, people were asked to participate in The Telling of the Soup. This tradition involves the chefs telling the rest of the group anything about their soup that they feel is important to share, such as the ingredients, the recipe’s origin, or even a personal story about making the soup.

After The Telling of the Soup, people were encouraged to go up and pick their six new soups. There was an abundance of vegetarian options at this swap, and this Bostonist ended up with a little bit of everything from zucchini leek to sixteen bean vegetarian soup.

In addition to the soup, participants also left with Homegrown buttons and a map of the Boston area’s local community gardens. Overall this was a great gathering, with great people and over the course of the afternoon, there was talk of some more summer based swaps like a salsa swap and an ice cream swap, so keep your eye on the Homegrown website for more info on future swaps and other events. If you are interested in hosting your own soup swap, go here.

Originally posted on the Bostonist

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