This year we grew again to 20 swappers and 17 soups. A few veterans invited their best chef friends along, expanding the reach of the Swap and welcoming some new swappers. With so many soups this year, all swappers had to maintain razor-edge concentration to track their favorites and optimize selection strategies on the fly. Some were temporarily unlucky as their favorite soups were scooped up right before their turn, but I hope everyone went home happy with their choices. The tally:
- first chosen - dawntreader42's french onion. If you suffer through cutting that many onions, you should be rewarded.
- first sell-out - countlibras' black sesame proved popular as everyone was drawn to the idea of a "dessert soup". She claimed that it's the only chinese dish she knows how to make. I don't believe it.
- Learning from your mistakes - cinnabarine recovered from last year's "frankensoup" marketing disaster with a centerpiece, chef's hat, and crustacean decorations on her shrimp miso soup. But it was her less-tarted-up fruit soup which went faster.
- Keeping it in the family - We had a few old family recipes, a few fake family recipes, and a deer shot by a family member. prosicated re-created the chicken soup her grandmother never made and won "best label" in the process. I can't wait to try jtidwell's chicken and sausage gumbo from her native new orleans.
- gourds - We had two pumpkin soups this year. But only ert and aerynne's came with choreography and a backstory describing how to field dress charlie brown's Great Pumpkin.
- legumes - Always popular, represented this year with black eyed pea, bbbsg's split pea (my first taste - we heated this one for dinner after the swap and it was great), chillguru lemony lebanese lentil, and pekmez's red nepalese lentil.
- photo deputy - inahandbasket took some fine pictures while I was busy hosting. thanks!
- quantity - after years of badgering couples to cook two batches, we had a few 12-quart turnouts this time. At 17 soups, my own dozen samples were not enough to try every one I wanted. Do I have to make 3 batches next year?
- observer - C represented homegrown.org, an organization dedicated to events exactly such as the Swap. She'll be running her own soon and wanted to see how it's done.