It seems as though I have a bit of a penchant for pushing myself to my limit every so often. Most of the time, I don’t even realise what I am doing until it is far too late, and all of a sudden I have run myself into the ground at a high speed. I take absolutely no pride in being busy anymore. Perhaps a few years ago I would have, but as I have settled into my 20s, I stopped glorifying busyness and have embraced the beauty of slowing down to a pace where I actually get to notice what is happening around me and enjoy it. Which is probably why the pace of the last few months has hit me like it has. As someone who recharges in quiet moments alone, not having that time to myself and putting such high energy into all my interactions has actually left me feeling as though I am running on empty.
“It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.”
Although I really dislike being sick, it definitely has the upside of forcibly making you step back and recalibrate. And for me, recalibrating means getting back into the kitchen. Probably my favourite thing to do when I am under the weather is cook really beautiful nourishing meals for myself and others (when what I have isn’t contagious). There is just something special about taking my time to caramelise, simmer and stir pots of soups and stews that feels so good for the soul. Cooking has always been my preferred form of mindfulness, taking me into a place where time simply ceases to exist.
Not long after I started my job, I found a $6 book shop really close to the office on one of my daily lunch walks. Unsurprisingly, the cookbook section fast became a favourite little midday getaway. I am both impressed and amazed by the amount of self-control that I have had there so far, having bought myself only two cookbooks (so far) – one of which I gave to my sister. But the one that I have kept, called “My Family Table” by Eleanor Ozich from the blog Petite Kitchen, has become a favourite. I made a promise to myself a few months ago that I would use my cookbooks more whenever I get a chance. And although those chances have been few and far between, I actually have stuck to that.
Soup and sickness are a match made in heaven. And although I am definitely not someone who ever needs an excuse to have soup, if I did, being sick would be it. So naturally, soup was the first thing I wanted to make.
This slow roasted apple and sweet potato soup is absolutely divine. It is creamy and sweet, but not overly so, with the subtle hint of rosemary (from my Mum’s amazing herb garden) bringing it to life. Plus, it is incredibly easy to make, making it the perfect nourishing meal for when you don’t have the energy to cook anything too complex. I added a few crispy baked potatoes on top to act like croutons, but this could also be served with a fresh or toasted baguette to make it the ultimate comfort food.
- 8 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled
- 2 apples cored and cut in half
- A large handful of fresh rosemary sprigs (plus extra to garnish)
- Olive oil
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Arrange sweet potato and apple on a baking tray, sprinkle with rosemary and drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and slightly caramelised.
- Remove the sweet potato and apple from oven and place in a high power blender with the rosemary.
- Add half of the stock (hot) to the blender, and blend until smooth. Add the remaining stock slowly and blend until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with extra rosemary and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
What do you like to do when you are feeling unwell? I would love your tips for recovery!