Saturday, 1 October 2011

Souper Cold Cure

It’s that time of year again: everyone is back at Uni and everyone is therefore suffering from the plague known as ‘freshers’ flu’.  It’s like a cold but worse.  I have somehow managed to escape it the past couple of years, despite being the type of person who usually catches anything going around, but I think this year has made up for it with a vengeance.  My flat is like some sort of bizarre orchestra of coughing and spluttering and sniffing right now.  And a quick look on my facebook news feed reveals we are not the only ones suffering.

I think, and I hope I’m not speaking too soon, that I may have discovered a cure!  It didn’t make me completely better.  I still have a sore throat, a cough, and a stuffy nose, so don’t expect miracles.  But I am now, unlike yesterday, capable of being in an upright position without crying.  Yay! 

It started slowly with me.  I lost my voice on Wednesday and was feeling washed out with a sore throat but otherwise I was okay.  Thursday my voice was back but had been replaced with a chesty cough, but again, I was okay.  Then yesterday I woke up and felt like someone had pelted my entire body with a ton of bricks during the night.  Achy muscles, raging fever, sore chest, sore throat, sore head, sore ear, bad cough… the lot.  I showered, ate breakfast, got dressed (er, not in that order.  I didn’t eat my breakfast naked.  Might not have gone down too well with the flatmates), and then…crawled back into bed, where I remained for the rest of the day, mostly feeling sorry for myself and sometimes reading.  By tea-time hunger had struck to add to my list of complaints.  I decided to make soup with lots of healthy things in it to give my immune system a boost.  And it worked!!  Today I think I may manage to do things other than sleep! 

So here is my souper soup recipe (had to be a soup pun in here somewhere, I’m afraid):

3 packs of tomatoes
2 massive cloves of garlic borrowed from your brother without his knowledge (you don’t have to borrow them from your brother; you can just buy them from the supermarket like a normal person)
2 onions (I like onions a lot, most normal people probably would want less onions in their soup)
1 orange
1 tsp sugar
1 litre whatever stock you happen to have in cubed form.  I only had beef.  It worked okay but I would suggest that veg stock is probably better.
1 very very spicy chilli.  I used Scotch Bonnet.

1.      Chop the onions (now you can pretend it’s the onions making you cry, and not the effort of being in an upright position), garlic, tomatoes and chilli up roughly.  You’re going to blend it later, so it doesn’t matter how roughly chopped it is. 

2.     Be curious about how spicy a Scotch Bonnet actually is.  Think ‘it can’t be that bad’.  Put a minuscule bit on your tongue.  Immediately spit it out and then do a strange dance round the kitchen flapping your hands about near your mouth and add ‘sore tongue’ to your list of ailments.  Regret the fact you’ve already chucked the rest of the chilli into the pan.  You can leave this step out if you want, but I’m pretty sure the dancing helped cure me and the sore tongue was a welcome distraction from the other sore things.  WARNING:  REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE USING THE TOILET/REMOVING CONTACT LENSES/BLOWING YOUR NOSE. 

3.    Heat up some oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and chilli till soft.  Then add the tomatoes.  Keep them on a low heat for about 8 minutes until the tomatoes have gone all soft and mushy. 

4.    Add the teaspoon of sugar and wonder if it will actually make any difference to the flavour whatsoever or if your soup has been ruined by the Scotch Bonnet.

5.   Add the juice of your orange and then the stock.

6.    Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

7.    Look through all the cupboards for the stick blender.  Be unable to find blender.  Get ill brother out of bed to help you look.  Realise you left it at the old flat.  Consider pushing the soup through a sieve instead and immediately disregard this idea as being too much effort. 

8.    Eat soup without blending it and wish you’d chopped the garlic up more finely.  Realise, though, that the Scotch Bonnet did not ruin the flavour and is just the right spice level for sweating out your fever.

9.    Feel better!

Now I am off to do all the things I intended to do yesterday.  Enjoy your soup! 

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