By Katie Colt
Everyone we know these days is stressed. Unending reports of impending doomsday for anyone, everywhere, at any time, take up a lot of emotional space. For some, the world feels like it is on the edge of overwhelming tumult, and it’s a naturally protective measure to self-soothe and seek refuge.
Food has always been a comfort for me, each bite working to quiet my daily anxieties. It’s a fact* that warm, edible liquids make everything better. So for Hygge Week, I’m sharing my unabashed, unadulterated love for tomato soup. Allow me to present the case for tomato soup as the perfect hygge food.
It is a banquet for your senses. Tomato soup glows in a warm ember-red color that nudges you to eat it in front of the fire. Its smooth, earthy-fruity fragrance soothes your nostrils as the logs crackle and burn. Its velvety, rich texture is equally divine as the way it glimmers on your spoon before entering your mouth. The best tomato soup, a perfect marriage of tempered creaminess and acidity, tickles the taste buds before sliding down into one’s belly—like a Sade song for your gastrointestinal tract.**
Anything you add to it is made exponentially better. A perfectly pan-toasted Gouda grilled cheese? Dip it right in. Stale wheat toast onto which you melted questionable shredded cheese? Throw it in there. Avocado slices or a heaping spoonful of leftover guac add an extra element of heartiness. My personal favorite addition: Ready-made cheese tortellini. While the soup is simmering on the stove, toss those puppies in and cook until warm and tender. It’s an adult update on SpaghettiOs, and the bit of nostalgia in each bite makes my heart smile.***
It is also extremely satisfying by itself. Despite its ability to improve other ingredients, tomato soup needs no one. It is strong; it is independent. And it is filling, with no croutons or crackers required. Even though it feels like a guilty pleasure, it doesn’t have to be. (My grocery store favorite is Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque, a mouthful to say, but a mouthful you’ll thank yourself for consuming. It makes up for the lack of salt with a hint of sweet.) I never regret making myself a can for an easy, yet soul-satisfying lunch.
What foods bring you joy and warmth? Share your favorite hygge ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (or here in the comments).
*Editor’s note: Apparently Katie has accepted the new American definition of “fact,” and I can’t disagree with this statement about warm foods.
**Editor’s note, again: Bet you didn’t see that line coming, huh? I definitely didn’t.
***Hey, it’s Suzanne here: I tried SpaghettiOs at some point a few months ago when my kid rejected them, and I’d much rather go for this adult take.