Last night, Dude, Ling, and I attended a soup swap. I heard about the event from a blog post and was excited to make soup and to get six all new soups. When we arrived at the house, I felt very nervous. It looked crowded, so I asked Dude to go first. Once we were inside, we put our soups on the table and then found place for our coats. We got some snacks and then squeezed onto a bench. It seemed like everyone knew each other and I felt a bit out of place. Fortunately, Dude forced me to be brave and we sat in the living room and mingled. I was getting nervous about how I was going to sell my soup, so I spent a fair amount of time interviewing people about what to say. My favorite part of the pre-soup swap was listening to Knox describe how the soup swap began. He is a riveting story teller.
We gathered into the kitchen and began drawing numbers to determine the order in which we would tell the soup story and the order in which we would pick soups. I made fun of Ling for getting number 17 and then I drew number 22. We arranged ourselves in order and I sat down next to two vegetarians. I tried to get some tips for how to sell the soup. As people talked about their soups, I found myself wishing for a pen, so that I could take notes on which ones I wanted to get. During the course of story telling, I was expressed with how both Dude and Ling charmed the crowd. Dude made Borscht and said, "It is an old family recipe, not my family, but good nonetheless." Ling made a carrot cilantro soup and said, "I am in law school, so I was going for something with beta-carotene and vitamin A."
During the course of the soup telling, someone announced that they were a proxy. I ended up getting bumped up because proxys go last. I was on the spot much sooner than expected and I could not think of exactly what to say. I improvised and said, "You have heard from my friends Dude and Ling who came with me tonight. We found you through the Internet. This is the first time that has happened. So here is the thing, if you take any of our soups you will get to eat history." When I stepped away, Ling told me that I was funny and did a good job. I told her that I forgot to tell people my soup is spicy!
Before the selection process, a few prizes were given. One was for the most unhealthy sounding soup which went to a potato cheddar soup. The other prize was for the least sexy soup. The lentil soups were getting nominated and all of a sudden someone held up Dude's soup and started yelling, "Borscht!" I joined the chanting and he won. His prize was a sex kit which was very amusing to me. It was hilarious to watch him examining the kit and reading the contents.
Selecting soup was an exciting process. All of the soups were presented on a computer screen to which I kept referring to make sure that I was getting a vegetarian one. The most popular soups were the ones which had accessories. The first soup to finish was one that came with a loaf of homemade soup. Other accessories included tortellini, a candle, and fortune cookies. Another technique used to get people to pick soup was to offer a reward for the first person to pick a particular soup. This included a bar of chocolate and homemade tapioca pudding.
Since I had a low number, I ended up with two of the same. However, I got a bonus soup, so I did get six different ones. Here was the yumminess that is currently in my freezer:
- Roasted Carrot Top Soup (this is the bonus soup; although I am not sure if it is still good since it has been frozen over a year)
- Winter Vegetable Soup (I got double of this one)
- French Lentil Soup
- Moroccan Lentil Soup
- 17 Bean and Barley Soup
Afterwards, we talked with a few more people before heading out into the snow. It was certainly a great adventure and now I have a freezer full of yummy soup as a reward for venturing out of my comfort zone.