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Healthy comfort food: a cure for the common cold?

It’s that time of year again, where the sniffles of your classmates make it impossible to focus on the jumble of numbers your professor is scribbling on the board.

Not that you aren’t also reading the paper and texting and tweeting — we’re a generation of compulsive multi-taskers. But still, that sniffling doesn’t help.

The inconsistent back-and-forth routine the weather has been throwing at us in Colorado lately means our bodies are having trouble adapting, and colds are being passed around at a rate faster than phone numbers on a Thursday night.

So what’s the best remedy if you do catch a cold? Soup. Especially classic chicken noodle soup. It’s the closest you’re going to get to comfort when your mom can’t be here.

Inspired by all of the carrots in season right now, this recipe is as easy as possible while still holding on to that homemade, fresh taste. Canned soup is so ’90s.

Carrots are good for you for many reasons, but mostly because they provide a lot of vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin and vision, according to Health online. Buy the whole carrots, not the pre-washed, bagged ones, and peel them yourself. It’s cheaper and you can cut them however you prefer for the soup.

This soup will make the entire house (or apartment) smell delicious, to the point where your roommates will be begging you to share. If you’re really nice, you’ll make a big batch for everyone. Either way, it will make you want to curl up on the couch and watch Christmas movies (it’s never too early) while avoiding that homework.

Basic chicken noodle soup

4 to 6 cups of chicken stock

chicken, cooked and cut in small chunks (to save time, buy a rotisserie chicken and add shredded pieces from that)

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup uncooked pasta (fusilli, rotini or orzo all work well)

salt and pepper

add parsley or onions if you like

Cook the carrots and celery in a large pot with the chicken stock until tender. Add the cooked chicken pieces and then the pasta. Boil lightly until pasta is done, then season to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary or whatever spices you have on hand.

Courtney Gibb is a senior at CU. Send her your college cooking ideas at Courtney.Gibb@colorado.edu.

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