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There’s nothing quite like a hot bowl of vegetable soup to help shake off the winter doldrums.

Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine or that feeling of being so cold, you can feel it down to your bones. What is clinically referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder results in your mood matching the weather outside – cold, dark and miserable!

When Mother Nature has you down in the dumps, there is one sure-fire cure that has a 99-percent efficacy rate: Soup! Preferably soup made with as many fresh vegetables as you can get your hands on. You can use frozen veggies to substitute for any fresh ones you might not have on hand.

Don’t expect to find a recipe in this blog, that’s not what this is about. You can find a million easy-peasy recipes for vegetable soup on the Internet. The point is that soup is not just easy to make; Preparing it can be a Zen-like experience. As you sauté your garlic and onion, the delightful scent wafts through the kitchen and your cares are carved away with each chop of your diced celery and carrots. By the time you add in the remaining vegetables, you’ve forgotten about the cold winds, the freezing rain and the icicles forming on the roof outside.

The kind of soup you create is often determined by what you have around the house. Got some chicken? Make Chicken Noodle soup. Got some beef chuck? Sounds like stew time! For our Vegan and vegetarian friends, use vegetable stock and spare the meat – soup is as cathartic for you as it is for our carnivorous friends.

Soup can be the attitude adjuster you need on the days when the weatherman calls for a “wintry mix.” Just lower your stuffy head over that bowl of produce-inspired goodness and let the steam rise into your nostrils. Mmmmm… that’s the good stuff! All of those individual veggies have beautiful voices as soloists, but put them all together with a hot broth as the conductor, and you end up with a full choir of heavenly vegetables all harmoniously contributing to a masterful concerto in a bowl.

Simply stated, soup nourishes us. And not just in the dietary sense (yes, all those vegetables pack a good bowl of soup full of vitamins and nutrients, which accounts for why they help us recover when we’re sick). The perfect bowl, cup or crock of vegetable soup nourishes us on a spiritual level. It can provide comfort. It invites togetherness, because it is perfect for eating – sharing – with others. Make a big pot and have some for yourself now and pack the rest into four or five containers. Now you can give some savory soup to your friends and loved ones to brighten their day and warm their hearts.

Soup is far more than the combination of broth, beans, escarole, carrots and whatever else you put in it. It is the fruit of your labor of love. The result of your creativity. It is cooking, healing, and sharing.

We can’t wait for Muzzarelli Farm Market to reopen in May. We wish we could provide you with the farm fresh vegetables that would make your soup perfect. Until we see you again in the spring, make some soup. It’ll make you feel better.