It’s cold and flu season, folks.
Whether it be preventative, used to accelerate recovery, or simply used to make you feel a little less icky, we believe that oftentimes food can be the best medicine out there. And that couldn’t ring truer when it comes to this recipe: the Ultimate Flu Busting Chicken Noodle Soup.
The ingredients in this soup have been specially curated to boost immunity, promote healing, and provide nourishing, delicious escape from a case of the sniffles. Soups are a great choice when you’ve got the chills because they provide hydration while also containing nutritious, well-cooked ingredients that are easy to digest. There is a lot of leeway when designing the ingredients list for chicken soup, but here are some main staples that you ought to include for maximum nutrition!
Chicken protein contains cysteine, an amino acid that can help to clear up mucus. Chicken stock that has been been properly slow cooked will also contain gelatin, which will deepen the flavour of your soup and stimulate digestion.
Garlic has been used in traditional herbal medicine to prevent and treat colds and flu, coughs, and parasites. Garlic’s antimicrobial compounds become active when chewed or crushed, and for this reason, garlic is best consumed fresh. Finely chopping your garlic or putting through a garlic press will help release its full benefits.
Ginger contains immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can help alleviate cold symptoms. Fresh ginger also has a unique diaphoretic capacity, meaning that it can create heat as well as induce sweating; just what you need when you kicking your cold to boot!
Turmeric has been used for centuries by different cultures as an immune booster as a result of its high antioxidant capacity. This root also contains a multitude of anti-inflammatories, and unique immune-stimulating polysaccharides, which have been said to aid in the healing process of the body and help to reduce cold and flu symptoms.
Dark, Leafy Greens:
Dark, leafy greens like kale, chard and collards all offer a healthy blast of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Similar to garlic, these nutrients are more readily available when cooked lightly. Add these greens to your soup towards the end of your cooking, letting them wilt until tender just before serving.
For the broth
1 whole, small-sized chicken, feet and neck included
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon (loosely packed) finely chopped sage
1 teaspoon (loosely packed) finely chopped thyme
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 large carrot
1 large stick of celery
For the soup
2 litres of chicken broth (extracted from broth-making recipe)
2 cups shredded chicken meat (extracted from broth making recipe)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
2 – 5 cloves garlic minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated turmeric
1 cup (loosely packed) finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup (loosely packed) finely chopped fresh coriander
1 cup dark leafy greens (kale, collards, chard)
Generous seasoning of sea salt
For the broth:
- Get your broth ready by placing the whole chicken (including feet, necks, wings, etc) in a large stock pot with herbs, vegetables, onions and vinegar. Using vinegar is essential, as it helps pull the minerals out of the bones and into the stock. Cover with cold water.
- Cook at a strong simmer, partially covered, for about 90 minutes. You can tell that the chicken is ready when the meat can be easily separated from the bone.
- Remove the carrots and celery, but keep the onions and herbs in the stock. Drain liquid from the meat and set aside.
- Separate the meat from the bones so that you have at least 2 cups of shredded chicken to put into your soup. Throw extra into your soup if you’d like, or save it to throw on chicken sandwiches and salads!
- Measure out your broth. You want about two litres for your soup.
For the soup:
- In a cooking pot, add finely chopped celery, carrots, and a dash of olive to cook on medium heat. Simmer for between 3-5 minutes, or until you see the vegetables soften.
- Add your stock and shredded chicken meat to the cooking pot. Bring everything to a gentle simmer and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, spices, and greens. Simmer for another minute or two. Remove pot from heat, and add the coriander and parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!
Do you have your own natural remedies for beating sickness? Please share below in the comments. Hope everyone is having a healthy and happy descent into winter!