How You Can Start A 'Soup Swap' With Family And Friends

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"Soup swap" parties are a great way to enjoy food and fellowship. (Courtesy Yvonne Duivenvoorden via Chronicle Books)

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says “soup swap” parties are a great way to enjoy food and fellowship.

Guests bring a homemade soup to share and everyone leaves with an assortment. Those parties inspired her new cookbook “Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share.”

She joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Meghna Chakrabarti for an in-studio soup swap. They enjoy selections from Kathy’s book, as well as additions from Mary Dooe, Julia Corcoran, Dean Russell and Michelle Martin.

Here are links to our additional soup recipes: variations on a green pozole with chicken and a green lentil soup with curried brown butter.

Kathy’s Fall Soup Recipes

Roasted Fall-Vegetable Soup

  • Makes 10 to 12 tasting portions or 6 to 8 full servings
  • Vegetarian

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
  • Double-cheese croutes for serving


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 every¬thing 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.

TO GO: Pack the pesto and croutes separately.

Double-Cheese Croutes

  • Vegetarian
  • Makes 12 croutes

These crisp, cheesy croutes are the perfect topping for Roasted Fall-Vegetable Soup, French Onion Soup, or any soup where the flavor of cheese and the crunch of toast will work.


  • Twelve 1/4- to 1/2-in- [6- to 12-mm-] thick slices of baguette, or any other crusty bread
  • 4 Tbsp [60 ml] olive oil
  • 1 cup [80 g] freshly grated Parmesan, Gruyère, Swiss, cheddar, manchego, soft goat, blue, or any cheese you prefer


1. Position an oven rack as close to the heating element in the broiler as you can and preheat.

2. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Using half of the olive oil, lightly brush one side of each slice and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from the broiler, sprinkle with 1/2 cup [40 g] of the cheese, and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the broiler, and let cool.

3. Using tongs, gently flip the bread. Brush with the remaining oil and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the broiler, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup [40 g] cheese, and broil for another minute, or until the cheese is melted. Let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

TO GO: Pack the croutes in a metal cookie tin or tightly sealed plastic container, placing a piece of paper towel between layers so that the croutes don’t sit on top of one another and get soggy.

Parsley Pesto

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Makes about 3/4 cup

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 (see headnote)


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.

Late-Fall Vegetable Ramen In Miso-Ginger

  • Dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan
  • Makes 8 to 10 tasting portions or 6 full servings

This is a very simplified version of ramen, the classic Japanese noodle soup. While you simmer a variety of late-fall vegetables in a miso-and-ginger-flavored broth, you cook the ramen noodles. To serve, you can top each bowl with crunchy slices of sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) and spicy mustard greens if you want to make your ramen even more interesting.

This broth is serious comfort food, perfect for a sore throat or for when you’re feeling down. I love ginger, and the more the merrier. This is a strong ginger statement, so feel free to use the smaller amount if you’re not crazy about the rhizome. This also tastes really great with chicken stock instead of vegetable broth.


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 oz [40 g] fresh ginger, peeled; half chopped and half cut into thin matchsticks
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-in [12-mm] pieces
  • 9 1/2 oz [270 g] seeded, peeled fall squash, such as butternut, cut into 1/2‑in [12-mm] cubes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp chili oil, sesame chili oil, or hot-pepper sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 cups [1.4 L] Vegetable Stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 14 oz [400 g] udon or ramen wheat noodles
  • 1 cup [230 g] peeled, thinly sliced sunchokes or sliced water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup [30 g] packed chopped mustard greens or other spicy fresh greens (optional)


1. In a large stockpot over low heat, warm the canola oil. Add all the ginger and half the scallions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and squash, season with pepper, and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Add the miso paste and stir until the vegetables are well coated, then add the chili oil, soy sauce, and vegetable stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and boil them for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer the noodles to a colander and drain.

3. Divide the noodles among mugs or bowls and top with equal portions of broth and vegetables. Top with the remaining scallions and the sunchokes and mustard greens, if desired, and serve.

TO GO: Boil the noodles at home but cook them for only 2 minutes. Drain them and let cool. Pack the noodles with about 1/3 cup [80 ml] of the cooking liquids (so they don’t clump up and stick together) in a covered container. Pack the sunchokes and mustard greens separately. Reheat the soup at the party. Be sure to drain the noodles before adding to the hot soup, where they will finish cooking.

Recipes from the book SOUP SWAP by Kathy Gunst. Copyright © 2016 by Kathy Gunst. Republished with permission of Chronicle Books.


Kathy Gunst, resident chef for Here & Now and author of the book “Soup Swap.” She is also the author of “Notes from a Maine Kitchen” and the video series “Simple Soups from Scratch.” She tweets @mainecook and is on Instagram @kathygunst. There’s more information about book signings, classes and lectures at her Facebook page.

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