In retrospect, it seems rather telling that I titled my last post "Muddling Through", though at the time I was really just making a punny reference to the use of muddled berries.
Still, "muddling through" is a pretty accurate description of how I spent my September.
I don't know if it's the change in the seasons that's hitting me harder than usual, or if it's the lingering case of the sniffles that I can't quite shake, or if it's the culmination of a summer spent with my insides wound up in knots while my day job went through what they euphemistically like to call a "reorganization". Or maybe just a combination of all those little things, piled one on top of the other.
All I know is that I made it through most of the month just by counting down the hours until I could crawl back into the refuge of my cozy bed, with a small purring cat curled up against my belly. I guess it's better than developing a drinking problem, but it still wasn't conducive to sitting down and writing a new blog post.
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't all bad - I still managed to find the wherewithal to catch film festival screenings and great live shows, take long meandering bike rides, catch up with old friends over great eats and drinks, and even climb into a hot air balloon for a short ride (though I did have to fortify myself with a very strong cocktail before that one). It just took more effort than usual, is all.
And I made a lot of soup, because it's easy and fast and brainless to make, and usually makes me feel better even when my outlook is at its doomiest.
Now that we've flipped the calendar to a new month, I'm trying to reconcile myself to the new normal. The nights may be shorter, the workdays may be longer, and my bed may feel more appealing than ever... but as my train crossed over the Don Valley bridge under plum-coloured skies earlier today, I decided that posting something - even a rambling sorry-for-myself post - is better than posting nothing.
Because, no matter how rotten or discouraging life can get, there's still soup. Comforting, soothing, make-everything-okay-again soup.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup Spanish-style chorizo sausage, finely diced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat the butter until melted and foamy. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the broth, Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Set aside to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, prepare the crispy chorizo. In a large heavy-bottomed pan set over medium-high heat, saute the chopped chorizo in olive oil for 5-8 minutes, or until very crisp and browned. Add the smoked paprika, and continue cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, return to the stovetop to heat through over medium-high heat.
- To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls, then top with a spoonful of crispy chorizo and a drizzle of the flavoured oil from the pan.