There’s no end to the good things to say about soup. It’s nutritious. It’s inexpensive. It’s always delicious, even the simplest kind. It’s even better the next day. It doesn’t require any special culinary skill. It makes you feel better when you’re sick. It’s infinitely flexible: Don’t like something listed in a recipe? Skip it, or use something else. It makes the house smell great. It’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s homey, real – the opposite of pretentious. It’s the perfect supper on a cold winter night.

For all these reasons, it’s easy to see why The Ones Who Determine Such Things have designated January as National Soup Month.

And this particular January, there’s one more reason: Soup has a way of bringing people together. Today, we need that more than ever. (This is not a piece about politics, but I think you know what I mean.)

As one Soup Night participant said to me, “You get a bunch of people sitting around a table together, something good is going to happen.” Even if the others at that table are people you don’t know, don’t agree with, maybe even don’t like. I promise you – I promise—that after sharing a simple soup supper, and taking the time to learn a little about them and share a bit of yourself in return, you will feel differently about them.

That’s the glory of soup. Try it, and you will see it too: There’s magic in that bowl.

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