Comfort Food

It never fails: I always end the semester with a sinus infection. Somehow, my body copes with stress by making me feel miserable.

When I feel this sick, all I want to do is curl up in front of a fireplace (with a fire in it) with my blanket, a book, and water and spend the day in and out of sleep when I am not reading. However, I do not own a fireplace that actually works, and I do have students, offspring (well one, anyway), a husband, and what feels like a million other things that call incessantly for my attention.

I knew I was getting old when I started envying my students, imagining their carefree lives where they just have to eat, sleep, and study without a single person needing them. Then I wake up and remember my time in college: full class load, full-time waiting tables to pay for full class load, studying until the wee hours in desperate attempts to bring my grades up, family and friends needing me for various reasons (though not for the learning to poop on the toilet kind). I realize that at that time in my life, I had all the stress I could handle. Just like I have all that I can handle now. It’s not that my life is harder than those of my students; it’s that I’m at a different point in my life. Sure it would be easier if I didn’t relentlessly have to see to a two-year-old’s needs every. single. freaking. second. But if I didn’t have my son (or any of the other stuff that comprises my life), there would be another thing to take its place. There is a never-ending list of these things.

So I sucked it up–just like we all do–and I graded. Luckily for me, my soon to be lawyer girlfriend also had to be productive and focused today. She is studying for her last final in law school. So we did the whole misery-loves-company thing and buckled down together. And the day was actually pleasant. We interspersed hours of intense work with gossipy chats about life, love, and everything else. We shared a cookie. We drank adult beverages. We accomplished a lot.

Then I came home to a brand new immersion blender that my husband bought me to make me feel better. And I did feel better . . . well at least loved. And that loved feeling is the most comforting one in the world.

Since I’m still sick with a raw nose from all the blowing and since I still have papers to grade and my fireplace still is fake and since I have an immersion blender begging to be used, I did the next best thing for a sick day: I made soup.

I took inspiration for this soup from epicurious’s carrot, potato and turnip soup.

  • 1/8 stick butter
  • a good amount of olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced
  • 5 carrots, chopped 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 inch pieces
  • x amount of fennel
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 leaves kale, deribbed and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 inch pieces mix of small purple, red, and gold potatoes, cubed
  • 6ish cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry

Melt butter with olive oil in pot. Add onions and saute until gold about 15 minutes. Add carrots and squash and saute about another ten minutes. Add parsley, kale and thyme. Briefly saute. Add potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until everything is tender (about 30 minutes). Remove pot from heat, stick your brand new immersion blender in the pot, and whir that slosh to death. Then add the sherry. Simmer a bit.

Eat and be comforted.

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