Tis the season for coughing & sneezing, so what better way to fight back then some homemade chicken soup?! If you’re like me, chicken soup is one of those meals that instantly takes you back to your childhood. The days you’d be home sick from school and mom’s order was her homemade chicken soup. Of course soup is easy on the throat and stomach and a major source of comfort but growing up and even into my early adulthood, I never really knew the real benefits that aid in getting you better!
The following has been adapted from healthnavigator.org,
- Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine. It thins out the mucous in the lungs making it easier to cough out.
- During times of infection, mucus can thicken into a moist, nutrient-rich environment that encourages growth of viruses and bacteria. Hot chicken soup vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in cleaning the gunky mucus out of your nose.
- Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene. The body converts this into vitamin A, which helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Onion, garlic and ginger are powerful immune-supportive spices. Onions contain quercetin, a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. The active ingredient allicin in freshly crushed garlic works like a natural antibiotic. The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes and oleoresin, which have antiseptic, and lymph-cleansing properties and also help improve circulation.
- Cuddling up with a hot bowl of chicken soup can do wonders for the mind and soul and we know the power this can bring to one’s well-being. Perhaps the most important of all!
Now for 2Moms take on Homemade Chicken Soup
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 onions, 1 chopped, 1 cut in 1/2 (I use sweet onions)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sugar
32 oz. organic chicken broth
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 head of escarole, rough chopped
2 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (optional)
1/2 inch Ginger, peeled, minced (optional)
In a large pot add the chicken, 1 onion cut in half, garlic, ginger, bay leaf and cover with water. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat allowing to simmer for 15 min.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, on medium heat, add EVOO, chopped onion, celery, carrots & sugar. Cover and cook until vegetables start to soften (about 8-10 min)
After vegetables begin to soften, add chicken broth, parsley and thyme.
Remove chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board, chop into small pieces or shred with a fork. Add chicken to the Dutch oven.
Salt & pepper to taste
Add chopped escarole to the soup about 3 minutes prior to serving.
If you would like to add pasta to your soup, we suggest making it in a separate pot and cook until al dente. For serving, spoon in desired amount of pasta in your bowl and then ladle in your steaming soup! The reason for cooking it separately is because often the starch in the pasta can suck up the fluid and you wind up with less liquid. Also, brown or Basmati rice would be a great alternative to pasta.
In the picture shown below I cooked some gluten free pasta in a separate pot because my husband is on Paleo and wouldn’t be able to eat the pasta. I also added some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano on top.
*evoo- extra virgin olive oil