Every so often circumstances force us to face unpleasant truths about ourselves. I am fortunate in that I am quite delusional, but over the course of the past week I have come to the stunning realization that I might be just as annoying as anyone else when faced with even the suggestion of illness, and that my dramatics are lost on everyone I’m married to.
As the weight in my sinuses drags me down, I’ve realized that I must feed us real food if we are to survive this thing, even if the idea of cooking in that kitchen that is piled with an unnavigable stack of dirty dishes is so repellent that all I can do is fall into the couch to marathon Glee and slurp kimchi ramen out of a Styrofoam bowl and whine about how no one really loves me or he’d throw out everything we own and go to the store to buy new, clean stuff so we could start over and maybe also give the floor a wash and fold that pile of laundry that’s lived a week on the sofa that gets wrinklier and covered in more and more cat hair every day. Also it would be good if someone would make me a pot of tea and find me my lip balm.
Cheese soup might not be the healthiest thing we could do for ourselves at this tissue-littered time, but it’s restorative in that it contains all of the calories I have not been getting by only consuming bowls of cereal, instant ramen, and juice since my face decided to protest health. It’s an easy meatless meal, and despite its half-pound of delicious aged Cheddar and its scandalous amount of cream, there are good things in it. The carrots aren’t just for colour.
Curried apple and Cheddar soup
(Serves four to six.)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups diced carrot (about four)
- 2 cups diced apple (such as Granny Smith, about two large)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Madras curry powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 5 cups water or vegetable stock, or a combination
- 1/2 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup cream
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sauté onion, carrot, apples, and garlic until golden, three to five minutes. Add curry powder, salt, turmeric, and black and cayenne peppers. Stir to coat.
Add water or stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until carrots have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from heat and purée using a blender or immersion blender. Return to heat and stir in cheese and lemon juice. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in cream, and serve hot, with a sprinkling of additional cayenne pepper, as desired.