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Soup Swap

When I moved Chicago, before I’d even unpacked a box, I headed to the store with a recipe for this Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup. In a new city, without friends or family, I instinctively reached for the one thing that would ground me. When the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno hit the pan, I could only equate the sweet scent as home. I broke out the box cutters and began to settle in.

Now, in these uncertain times, I find myself reaching for the stockpot more frequently. This weekend, a Curried Lentil Soup I whipped up nearly brought me to my knees. More than good, it felt like feeding my soul. After bringing a cup to the office yesterday, a curious coworker had to know what loveliness was wafting from my cube. “Uh, it’s this new recipe I tried over the weekend,” I explained. “It was super cheap, easy, and made a ton.” That’s when inspiration struck, (or rather, another friend suggested a soup swap). As the weather chills, and budgets grow tighter, I can think of nothing better.

Grab a few friends and set a “swap schedule.” I’m still working out the kinks, but suspect I’ll be reaching for my well-splattered, slightly crinkled butternut recipe to get things under way.