My Answer to the January Blues? One Word: Soup

Lindsay is a Noonday Ambassador who lives in Maryland with her husband, Matt, and energetic sons, ages 6 and 3. By day, she works in higher education overseeing admissions marketing for a University. Lindsay enjoys using food to bring warmth and comfort into her home, and today on Flourish she shares her secret to beating the January blues: a hearty bowl of soup.

Oh, January. The time of establishing the word of the year, making the resolution, setting the goals, and generally organizing your entire life. Me? Yeah, I’ve got the word (“embrace”—as in the opportunities, the crazy, the imperfection, my age—and, of course, my loved ones), and I’ve got some goals (dare I dream of meeting some of Noonday’s Artisan Partners on an Ambassador Trip?). Plus, I’m a believer in the KonMari decluttering method, so if it doesn’t SPARK JOY, it is gone.

But, whoa, January. In Maryland, it is cold and it is icy. January, you are brutal, and while I’m excited and ready for the year ahead, honestly, this girl is tired. That is why January is the season of soup.

To the hustlers and the go-getters? I see you there ahead of the game staring down would-be March milestones, and I give you soup. You earned it. Slow down for a spell and let it simmer. To the ones who don’t really buy into the New Year hubbub, I see you too, with your side-eye and your “I resolve not to make any resolutions” and I give you soup. To the ones who can’t cook or don’t like to cook, or only make toast, I give you soup. Soup is for you too, you’ll see. To the ones on a diet or a budget or both, I give you soup. There is a recipe out there for everyone. To the ones with the children who complain about everything you cook (wait, that’s me!) I give them soup in a cute little bowl with fish crackers on the side. Quite possibly the easiest, most economical and love-filled dish you can make—it’s soup.

I know, I’m a little over the top, friends, but soup is magic.

I’ve often joked that soup is my love language, and I think I got that from my mom and from my mom-mom. I remember my grandmother visiting us and lo and behold: “I brought you some soup!” It meant jars lined up in the fridge or tucked into the freezer to save for a day when you needed a hug. Soup is love.

If you aren’t already a soup-maker, this is one topic where Pinterest won’t fail you. From chicken noodle and all its variations (tip: look up lemon orzo), to tomato, veggie, or mushroom, one thing is for certain: I’m always surprised how simple it is to make homemade soup, how it’s guaranteed to taste one million times better than the canned variety.

However your January is going—if you simply want to up your hygge factor (that great Danish concept of coziness and comfort) or if the winter blues have got you down, throw on a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks and shuffle to the kitchen. Make a big pot and share it with your family, or just indulge yourself. Better yet, pour it into a crockpot and gather your friends for a Soup, Sip, and Story Noonday Trunk Show. Here is my family’s favorite for a cold day. From me to you, with love.

“In January, it’s so nice when slipping on the sliding ice to sip hot chicken soup with rice. Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice.” (A poem from Maurice Sendack’s Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months)

Lindsay’s Hygge Potato Cheese Soup

3 stalks celery

1 medium onion

3 pounds golden potatoes

32 ounce carton chicken bone broth (I use reduced sodium) or use homemade

 1/3 to 1/2 package bacon

About 1.5 tablespoons parsley flakes

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

2 cups shredded cheddar

If using, begin by cooking bacon in the oven, about 15 minutes. While bacon cooks, prep celery and onion by chopping finely. In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and celery and sauté a minute or so. Add about 1 cup of broth and continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, while you prep potatoes. Wash and peel potatoes (leave the small ones unpeeled for a shortcut, if you don’t mind some potato skins), then cut into 1-inch cubes. Once softened, transfer onion and celery mixture to a bowl. To the same large pot, add the potatoes and enough warm water to cover them. Boil until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Finish the soup: Drain most of the water, then add the remaining broth, butter, milk, celery/onion, parsley (crumble between your hands over the pot), and bacon (which you have drained and chopped). Heat over medium-low to medium heat stirring until warmed through. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring to melt into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Meet Lindsay Thompson

Lindsay lives in Maryland with her husband, Matt, and energetic sons, ages 6 and 3. By day, she works in higher education overseeing admissions marketing for a University. Lindsay is also a photographer, aiming to capture love in her images and remind people just how beautiful (and awesome!) they are. As a new Ambassador—joining Noonday in March—Lindsay is intrigued by the business, leadership, and life lessons available from a company focused on doing good. She loves a mix of old and new, the local farmer's market, real butter, and is an on-again-off-again yogi. She’s an introvert who loves people, a recovering over-thinker, and soup might actually be her love language. You can find her at lindsaycaroline.com.