November 02, 2016

Photo: Getty Images

 

Shake up the Lysol and restock your desk stash of hand sanitizer; 'tis the season of germ swapping, flu-inspired staycations, and debilitating 24- to 48-hour viral bugs circulating your place of work.

I am the absolute worst at being sick. I tend to look for every other feasible explanation as to why my body seems to be aggressively rejecting living life besides, well, maybe I'm sick. I typically remain in this state of denial past what is healthy, which only results in me feeling crappier for longer. I don't know why I refuse to alter my ways. But for now, this is who I am. And I received an intense reminder of it earlier this week.

I will spare you the details of the illness that plagued my feeble and pathetic body, but during this time of weakness, all I wanted was soup. And more often than not when you're unexpectedly ill, canned soup will be a part of the healing process. As I sat in a state of sickly delirium the other night, with a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle in my lap, I came to realize 3 things we should all keep in mind about the canned soup we will inevitably lean on to provide us nourishment in times of need:

 

1. If some kind soul brought you that canned soup, be grateful.

And allow that gratitude to comfort you through your cold sweats. Someone loves you enough to bring you cans of soup, even if they didn't really feel like it. That means you're cared for. Everything else is gonna be OK.

 

2. If that canned soup doesn't taste so great, you might be able to help it.

Like many processed food products, sometimes packaged soup needs a hand from the consumer to reach its most edible potential. Especially if the kind soul bringing you soup springs for the fancy organic canned soup, that's free of msg and astronomical sodium levels, to show that extra little bit of caring. While it was definitely thoughtful of your boo thang to pay the extra buck-fifty for the can that's less likely to cure your innards (cure like prosciutto, not cure like "heal"), the nice stuff can err towards the bland side--particularly with your dead appetite and impaired palate. A few easy (read: manageable even for your sad, sickly self) tweaks can help. I've found that a light sprinkle of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder, along with a dainty squeeze of fresh lemon juice can make a world of difference to a meh can of brothy soup, like chicken noodle. Just stir these things in while the soup is heating up.

 

3. But also, that canned soup might never taste great... because you're sick.

I reiterate--you're sick, you have a dead appetite, and an impaired palate. Eat the soup anyway. This is what you have to nourish your body out of its currently pathetic state of being. And refer back to point #1, that's something to be grateful for.

 

Of course, it's never a bad idea to go ahead an make a batch of soup while you're perfectly fine and healthy, so that you can freeze some and whip it out the next time you, or someone you care for, falls ill. Delivering a container of homemade soup to your wretchedly l loved--because you were prepared like nobody's business--is such a champ move. Here are a few freezer-friendly suggestions:

 

Soulful Chicken Soup

 

 

 

Onion, Kale, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup

 

 

Vegetable-Lentil Soup

 

 

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