Lisa Erickson mug

I love the feeling of being all cozy during winter. It’s called Hygge. 

The word Hygge originated in the early 1800s in Norway and Denmark, according to several sources. The definition is a little vague and hard to explain, but it means the way you feel when you are cozy and happy or a feeling of general well-being, typically during the cold winter months. It means the feeling of contentment or the mood you feel when you enjoy simple things, like sitting in front of a fire on a snowy day.  

I am always telling people how much I love winter. It’s not about the snow or sub-zero temps. It’s the way I feel when I’m cooking or baking on a cold winter day—it’s even better when it’s snowing outside. The feelings of contentment and thankfulness are powerful.

I like things that are simple and uncomplicated, most of the time. Dinners of warm cheesy potato soup and freshly baked wheat bread are about as basic as it can get.  Baking and cooking simple things are the perfect way to add to your Hygge. 

Pull a comfy chair up to a window, grab a warm blanket, your bowl of warm soup, and think about all the things you’re thankful for. Then, look outside—that’s Hygge. 

The cheddar cheese is the superstar of this soup. Buy the best quality you can or are willing to afford. 

Hygge Potato and Cheese Soup

8 strips bacon, chopped

1 onion, minced

6-7 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

5 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup sour cream

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain bacon on a paper towel. Set aside. Add the onion to the bacon drippings and cook until onion is tender; about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. 

Carefully pour half the hot soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to saucepan. Add cheese and stir to combine. Top with bacon and sour cream. Serve immediately with bread and butter for a perfect winter meal. 

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at www.wild-chow.com or email her at wildchowrecipes@gmail.com.

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