What’s your favorite winter comfort food?

It’s solidly winter now, with temperatures here in New Jersey dropping to single digits at night and rarely rising above freezing during the day. (Okay, I have friends in Michigan for whom this is perfectly balmy, but for me it’s frickin’ freezing in here!) There’s been snow on the ground since December, and it’s dark every night when I leave work.

It’s a time of year that, for me, often coincides with a very deep depression, but this year I’m working hard on avoiding that pitfall. I’m still taking my medication, still writing, and still getting up every morning.

But sometimes, you need something that’s just a touch more, a little friendly—something comforting. It can be a favorite stuffed animal you carry with you, or, if you’re like me, a favorite food.

Last year for Thanksgiving, my wife bought a butternut squash. Admittedly, I didn’t really know what to do with it; I even had to look up how to prepare one online. We ended up turning it into a soup, probably because I mashed it anyway trying to get the damn thing open, and it became a instant hit: my new, favorite comfort food for the depths of winter.

We’ve made it a few times since, and it really couldn’t be easier. So long as you have a large pot and a stove, you’re set. Here’s how to make it.

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need:

  • One (1) really big butternut squash
  • Three to five (3-5) potatoes
  • Two to four (2-4) carrots
  • One (1) small onion (or half a big one, or just a bunch – your choice, really)
  • Forty fluid ounces (40 oz) of chicken/vegetable stock.

Then, fry the onion in some olive oil or butter, chop everything else up roughly, and boil the shit out of it for an hour. Once everything is really, really soft, you can do one of two things:

  1. Somehow get it all into a blender, or probably into several blenders, and blend it until it’s smooth;
  2. Use a potato masher to mash the crap out of it until it’s smooth.

You can guess which method I prefer.

You could season it however you like, and my wife recently suggested roasting the butternut squash first, which will be tasty, I’m sure. As you’re reading this I’m probably sitting down to a bowl of this soup right now, so I’ll leave you with this: what’s your favorite winter comfort food, and how do you make it?

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