January 24th, 2008

lego me

International Soup Swap 2008

I had really hoped for more violence. As Master of Soupemonies, I did my best to goad Cambridge's swappers into exaggeration, deceit, logrolling, pushing, and shoving. But all in attendance were far too classy to lower themselves to my level. In the end, this year's Swap was a model of breezy charm with a mere undercurrent of highly strategic optimizing. We grew from last year to 16 swappers, 13 soups, and no injuries.

IMG_0024 IMG_0025 IMG_0039

The tally:

  • First selected: toutbeurre's something-or-other. I don't even remember what she made and it doesn't matter. She's a professional chef. When in doubt, grab her soup before it's gone.
  • First sell-out: stripeyg's wonton soup kit. A multi-step affair with noodles, homemade wontons, and frozen broth cubes. I calculated nobody would pick something so labor-intensive and was shocked when it didn't even survive the first round. Thank Gods that I had two rotation slots or I would have missed it.
  • Welcome compromise: meat on the side. youraverageninj served a red pepper bisque with removable shrimp. My ultra-pandering Beer Cheese Soup arrived with a separate Bacon Pack. Wontons were available in pork and veg varieties. This enabled everyone to find their own dietary way without feeling marginalized or oppressed.
  • Subtle marketing ploy: During her Telling, greatdane managed to casually let slip that she attended cooking school in France. We all then realized that you don't try to outsell a management consultant, especially when she's armed with creamy pesto.
  • Gross marketing error: It sounded tasty until it was described as "frankensoup"
  • Kitchen equipment infomercial: fanw convinced us simultaneously of the virtues of her butternut squash and the glories of the immersion blender.
  • No pain, no gain: countlibras cried through five pounds of onions to bring us a french onion soup. Other chefs suffered for their art as well. Your collective sacrifice is appreciated by all.
  • Videographer: aerynne found the movie mode on my camera, capturing several Tellings for posterity. Her zucchini apple soup, on the other hand, will certainly be gone very soon.

IMG_0054 IMG_0056 IMG_0064

Thanks to all for a successful Swap. cinnebarine is lightning-quick with a jpeg download and beat me to posting by several hours. Be sure to check soupswap.com for updates on the nation's other dozens of Swaps from last night. Enjoy your soups now, and remember to start thinking of next year's soups when your breath first clouds autumn's air.