I won’t go so far as to claim that chicken soup is a miracle healer, but I will say that a good soup can boost your immune system and improve your chances of beating a virus. Chicken soup is a fantastic weapon when a cold or a flu bug is knocking you around.
Nine Healthy Reasons To Make This Chicken Soup
1. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an active compound that can boost your immune system, making it stronger and more capable of fighting various infections and diseases.
2. The fresh herbs rosemary, thyme and oregano contain essential oils that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
3. It’s important to use real chicken broth that’s been made with the bones of a chicken because they contain B vitamins (in the marrow), calcium, magnesium and zinc all of which can assist your immune cells in fighting off colds and flu.
4. Green vegetables such as kale, leeks, peas and beans contain B vitamins that provide energy as well as nerve and adrenal support. Keep in mind that stress reduces your immune function.
5. Orange carrots and sweet potato provide a rich source of pro-vitamin A to assist the lungs in fighting off infections.
6. Ginger and garlic are both powerful anti-inflammatories and immune-supportive spices. You will notice this soup has triple the spices of a standard soup. The active ingredient allicin in freshly crushed garlic works like a natural antibiotic so make sure you eat enough to get the real therapeutic effect!
7. Hot soup helps to thin out mucus. When we’re healthy our nasal mucus is clear and thin, serving to filter air during inhalation. During times of infection, mucus can thicken into a moist, nutrient-rich environment that encourages growth of viruses and bacteria. A mug of chicken soup can thin that mucus and help the body fight infection.
8. This soup is hydrating and provides electrolyte minerals that your body uses to carry electrical signals from cell to cell. When we run a fever, we can get dehydrated, which decreases these critical minerals.
9. It tastes so darn good due to all the fresh ingredients. That alone will cheer you up and a smile has been shown to be the best immune booster of all!
Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup
2 tbsp organic olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, sliced and divided
2 inches ginger, minced
2 cups leeks, chopped
2 cups shiitake mushrooms (or any type of medicial mushrooms) sliced
2 cups carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
2 cups sweet potato, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tsp grey or pink sea salt
8 cups organic chicken stock
1/2 cup parsley, freshly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, freshly chopped
1 tbsp of each oregano, thyme, and rosemary, minced*
2 bay leaf, whole
4 cups kale, washed and torn
1 cup snow peas or green beans, chopped
4 skinless organic chicken thighs, chopped into cubes
*If these herbs are unavailable fresh then use 1 tsp of each dried. Look for fresh herbs whenever possible get the flavour and essential oils.
1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, 3 garlic cloves, ginger and leeks. Cook until softened — about 3 minutes.
2. Add chopped vegetables, chicken, salt, chicken stock and bay leaf. Increase temperature to high, bring to a boil and reduce heat so soup simmers. Cook for approximately 25 minutes until vegetables soften, but aren’t mushy.
3. Stir the kale, peas, fresh herbs, 2 cloves of fresh finely chopped garlic into the soup. Simmer for another few minutes to blend flavours and soften kale. Adding these ingredients at the end ensures that the veggies are bright green and the garlic is providing maximum immune benefits.
Easy immune-Building Bone Broth
Make a calcium-rich bone broth in advance so your immune-boosting soup will come together in a flash when you’re under the weather. You can store it up to three months in the freezer. All the veggie scraps provide extra immune supportive minerals, and the best part? The stock is essentially free because it’s made from stuff you were going to throw out. Note: Bone broth can be made from a variety of bones such as organic beef, bison, turkey and lamb. They don't necesarily need to be roasted ahead. Bone broths are typically simmered for a long period of time (at least 4 hours), to release the nutrient dense marrow from the centre of the bones, the high protein gelatin from the collagen-rich joints and the minerals from bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.
1 whole organic chicken carcass (leftovers from roast chicken dinner)
12 cups water
2 cups vegetable scraps: carrot skins, celery leaves
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to release the nutrients from the bones)
Seasoning: parsley and basil stems
Optional: unrefined sea salt to taste if desired
1. Put all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce to simmer and stir well. Cover and cook for a minium of 4 hours.
3. Remove any large bones or skin and use to make the soup.