Food + Drink

Celebrate Fall with a Soup Swap Party

The beginning of fall calls for cozy sweaters, pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, and of course, delicious and comforting homemade soup. In her new book Soup Swap, author Kathy Gunst shares how to host a dinner gathering where—you guessed it—soup is the star.

The Basics of Hosting a Soup Swap

  • Every month or so, the dinner is held at a different home. The host provides a side dish (almost always a salad of some sort to keep the meal light and simple), bread or biscuits or corn bread, and dessert.
  • Everyone brings a pot of soup, containers with tight-fitting lids for leftovers, and a ladle to serve the soup.
  • During the soup swap, be sure to pace yourself by sampling only a small portion of each soup.
  • Enjoy, and make sure to trade recipes at the end!

Note: You can heat only as many soups as there is room on your stove, so make sure you don’t over-invite! 

To help kick start your soup sharing, read on for a recipe that celebrates fall flavors.

Roasted Fall-Vegetable Soup

Soup Swap: Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

Makes 10 to 12 tasting portions, or 6 to 8 full servings

When you roast winter root vegetables along with shallots, leeks, and garlic, they caramelize and become sweet. Although this soup takes about an hour from start to finish, the resulting flavor is startlingly complex. It’s important to cut the vegetables about the same size to ensure even cooking.

  • 3 medium leeks
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-in [12-mm] pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-in [12-mm] pieces
  • One 2-lb [910-g] butternut squash or any type of winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-in [12-mm] cubes
  • 2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/2-in [12-mm] pieces
  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-in [12-mm] cubes
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 2 tsp dried
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups [1.2 L] Vegetable Stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 3/4 cup [180 ml] dry white wine
  • Parsley Pesto for serving (recipe follows)
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F [200°C].
  2. Trim off the dark green sections from the leeks and save for making vegetable stock. Halve the pale green and white sections lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water, pat dry, and cut crosswise into ½-in [12-mm] pieces.
  3. In one large or two medium very shal­low roasting pan(s) or rimmed baking sheet(s), combine the leeks, parsnips, carrots, squash, celery, celery root, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat the vegetables. You don’t want to have vegetables on top of one another; you want them in a single layer.
  4. Roast the vegetables for 20 min­utes. Turn the oven temperature to 450°F [230°C] and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are a nice golden brown, almost crispy on the edges, and almost soft when you gently test them with a fork or small, sharp knife. You don’t want them soft and mushy; they will continue cooking in the soup.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot over high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and gently simmer.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the oven, add the wine, and deglaze the pan, using a spatula to loosen any bits clinging to the bottom. Pour every­thing from the baking sheet into the stock. Turn the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls and serve piping hot, topped with the pesto and croutes.

Soup Swap: jars of soup

Parsley Pesto

Makes about ¾ cup [180 G]

Parsley can be much more than a garnish, as this vibrant green pesto demonstrates. Made with parsley instead of traditional basil, this pesto is ideal for winter, when fresh herbs are scarce. Serve it with any puréed or chunky vege­table soup for a fresh, rich herb flavor. Use freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, manchego, or your favorite hard cheese.

  • 1 cup [60 g] packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup [65 g] walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] olive oil
  • 1/4 cup [15 g] packed freshly grated hard cheese

Using a food processor or blender, process the parsley, nuts (if using), and garlic until finely chopped and season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, being careful not to overprocess the pesto; it should still be a little chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigera­tor for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

For more tips and recipes, be sure to check out Kathy Gunst’s Soup Swap, available now. 

Sarah Lin Go

Sarah Lin Go

Sarah handles marketing for art books and stationery at Chronicle Books. You will often find her buying too many stationery products, cracking up about everything, and snacking on Haribo gummies.
Sarah Lin Go


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