Have you heard about the Soup Swap? Every winter around the world, people get together to reconnect with friends and share homemade soup. The concept is simple: Make a big pot of soup, freeze it into individual portions, then exchange it at a Soup Swap event.

Of course, we couldn’t write about this foodie craze without trying it out for ourselves, so last week the DECO team got together at editor Laureen’s downtown apartment (there are no words to describe her place… ‘perfect’ comes to mind) to enjoy an afternoon of soup, freshly-baked bread and red wine.

The result? An afternoon filled with laughter and hearty, warming soup (our favourite was our intern Anna Raimondo’s Thai Chicken Soup – see recipe below). Plus, we all got to take home dinner for the next week!

Anna’s Amazing Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
  • 5cm piece fresh galangal/ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock (or chicken consomme)
  • 2 (about 400g) chicken breast fillets
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs finely chopped palm sugar (if you don’t have you can use brown sugar)
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 red birds-eye chillies, thinly sliced diagonally
  • Finely shredded kaffir lime leaves, to serve


  1. Place the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, coconut milk and chicken stock in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook, covered, for 1 hour to  develop the flavours.
  2. Add the chicken to the stock mixture and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a heatproof bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Shred the chicken with your fingers.
  3. Pour the stock mixture though a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Discard the lemongrass mixture. Place over medium heat and add the chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated though.
  4. Ladle soup among serving bowls. Top with spring onion, chilli slices and shredded kaffir lime leaves, if desired.

Have you been inspired to host a Soup Swap? Send in your photos and recipes to blog@elledecomag.co.za. Look out for more soup recipes in our upcoming International issue, on sale 21 July.