Yesterday it rained and rained and rained, and I turned on the space heaters and wore thick socks and held my little girl all day long, but it felt like no matter what, I couldn’t get warm. And even though the Christmas tree lights stayed on all day and my little fake fireplace did its best to keep our living room feeling cheerful, I felt…sad. I started thinking about people I wish I could see more often, and people that I can’t see anymore at all. And then I started thinking about my children growing up and moving out and how desperately I’ll miss them, and then poof:
–> Sadness spiral.
The holiday season can do that to you sometimes.
And so when I picked up my son from school, I decided it would be a good day to do something special together. We dragged out the little ladder that he uses when he helps me cook and pulled it over next to the stove. I chopped potatoes and carrots and celery and he poured them all into the pot, and then we snuggled up on the couch and watched Christmas cartoons while the soup bubbled and the kitchen filled up with the smell of wonderful things.
And when our soup was done we sat down at the table together to eat, and Indy took one bite, looked at me, and said “It’s SO YUM!”
It’s hard to feel sad over a dinner conversation like that.
Which is all to say: A really great soup can be excellent medicine on a rainy winter day.
Potato Soup For The Soul (adapted from this recipe)
What You Need:
4 slices best-quality bacon, cut into matchsticks
1 cup baby carrots, cut into thirds
1 cup diced celery
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
4 russet potatoes, diced
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
What You Do:
1. In a large soup pot, cook the bacon matchsticks until crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour out a little of the bacon fat (not all of it) if there’s too much for your liking (I just left it all in, because the more bacon fat, the better…obviously).
2. Toss the onion, carrot and celery into the pot. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the potatoes and about 1/2 tsp salt and cook another five minutes.
4. Pour in the chicken broth, turn down the heat, cover and simmer another ten minutes or so.
5. Whisk together the milk and flour and add to the pot. Stir and let simmer another five minutes uncovered, until the soup has thickened.
6. Stir in the heavy cream and taste. Add a little more salt if you want.
7. Pour about half of the soup into a blender (you may have to work in batches so you don’t overfill your blender) and puree until smooth, then return to the pot so you have a half-smooth/half-chunky mixture.
7. Serve by sprinkling with chopped parsley and some bacon bits.