You may not know it, but January is “National Soup Month”– until this morning, I didn’t even know there was a National Soup Month at all. But I wasn’t surprised to learn that it is January. Just look at the weather forecast for this weekend: four straight days of rain.
There is no “National CSA Month”, but if there were one, it would also be January. The first month of the year seems to be the most popular month to join or re-join a CSA. I would guess yoga studios, gyms, etc. also see big upticks in membership early in the year.
But it’s more than just people making “New Year’s Resolutions” to eat healthier and get in shape. After all, January is one of the dreariest months of the year, even in California. The year-end holidays are over, but we’re all still paying the bills for holiday gifts, travel and entertainment. And the cold, damp weather and short days are still here.
Soup — especially the homemade kind — and CSAs have a lot to offer for people seeking ways to save money, eat healthy and stay warm and cozy when it’s chilly and wet outside. Most of the items in your January TFF CSA boxes — other than lettuce and fruit — lend themselves naturally to soup-making.
This week’s box is a great example. You’ve got celery, carrots and leeks: the triumvirate of “aromatics” that form the basis of so many great soups (and stews). Chard or kale add color and nutritional value. And either potatoes or broccoli can be left in chunks or pureed to add thickness. Lemons add brightness and highlight whatever herbs and spices you choose to flavor the soup.
If you want an even more filling soup, beans or lentils are a healthy, affordable addition. Just remember that they will continue to pull moisture from the soup, so you may want to add extra broth.
True January soups are not fast (unless you have an Instapot). They taste best when cooked slowly for at least an hour or longer, and get even better the next day. This makes them ideal for weekend cooking, especially if you make enough for leftovers on Monday night.
There are lots of great soup recipes on our TFF website, so settle in for this weekend, find one that sounds good, and enjoy.