Soup Swap Adds Variety to Winter Menus
Getting more mileage out of homemade soup
Deena Prichep | Portland, Oregon 29 October 2010
A few years ago, Seattle, Washington, technical consultant Knox Gardner made a big pot of soup, and got a little sick of eating it day after day. So he decided to get a few friends together for a trade.
"My original idea was that it would be some loud, boisterous kind of event, where you would trade three of my corn chowders, because you know I'm an awesome cook, for, you know, one of your minestrones," says Gardner.
This was the beginning of Soup Swap. As you can imagine, the math on this laissez-faire approach didn't work too well. So Gardner came up with some guidelines.
"You bring six quarts, and then draw numbers and go around the room six times until everybody gets all new soups."
In addition to a set of rules, Gardner got a website, a self-proclaimed National Soup Swap day in January, and some Internet hype from food bloggers. The idea spread across the country. There are swaps in New York with hand-foraged mushroom chowder, and swaps in Texas showcasing processed cheese soup.
In Portland, Oregon, Jon Van Oast and Megan Kelley invited a dozen friends to a Soup Swap on a chilly Sunday. People started by sharing their stories, a little ritual Gardner calls, "The Telling of the Soup." Some recipes came from the Internet, and some, like Christina Kellogg-Gratschner's fruit soup, were family traditions.
"Fruit soup is something that my mom would make out of all her home canning pears, peaches, whatever she happened to have," Christina Kellogg-Gratschner. "And she'd cook it up with a little bit of cornstarch, and pour it on whole wheat toast."
Swappers then went around the circle, choosing their six quarts. People were definitely excited about leaving with a variety of soups especially those balancing busy lives. Stacy Meyer teaches fifth grade, and scrambles to fit inexpensive and healthy meals into her schedule.
"I will admit to having the breakfast-for-dinner kind of thing, that's happened before," says Meyer. "And so being able to have a ready-made dinner in the freezer helps out quite a bit."
People are increasingly coming together for these sorts of informal swaps, says Boston University economist Juliet Schor. In her latest book, "Plenitude," Schor says the economic downturn has made more people open to the idea of swapping. And the Internet has made it easier.
I. Reading Skills
1. Why didn’t the idea of soup swapping work out in the beginning?
A) Some people’s soups were not delicious, so people did want to trade with them.
B) A great variety of soups made people hard to choose.
C) Some people did not bring their soups, but would like to have some from others.
D) The weather had been too hot to have soups.
2. The idea of soup swapping spread across America by _____.
A) setting National Soup Swap Day by the U.S. Government
B) starting a soup swapping website
C) sending free soup samples to people
D) distributing commercial on TV
3. Which of the following is NOT true about fruit soup?
A) You need some certain fruits.
B) You can use whatever fruits you want.
C) You can have fruit soup with toast.
D) Canning fruit should be all right.
4. By the rule of Gardner, how many quarts can swappers have?
A) 3 B) 4 C) 5 D) 6
5. According to Juliet Schor, what makes people open their mind for soup swapping?
A) the Internet B) economic downturn C) soups D) swappers
II. Transcribing practice
audio file 1: http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~ntuavc/epaper/feature/feature147/soup swap--transcribing.mp3
"In the past, if you wanted to organize some kind of a neighborhood swap or sharing s __________, you'd have to go around and call the people in the neighborhood, knock on their doors, etc. So there's a lot of what economists call t____________________s costs. With the Internet, that's d ________________ly reduced."
And Schor says that once these swaps do come together, they reinforce connections between people. It's what economists and sociologists call "social c__________l." And Schor says communities with strong social c__________l work better.
"Soup may seem like a small thing, but it may turn out that your sharing network is very important to you if you lose your job, if your housing is in j____________y. You're going to have these folks to rely on."
scheme, transactions, drastically, capital, jeopardy