Can chicken soup really cure a cold? I won’t go so far as to claim it’s a miracle healer, but I will say that a good chicken soup can boost your immune system and improve your chances of beating a virus.
8 healthy reasons to make this chicken soup-
- Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an active compound that can boost your immune system to fight infections.
- Rosemary, thyme and oregano contain essential oils that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
- Real chicken stock made with bones contains B vitamins (in the marrow), calcium, magnesium and zinc all essential for immunity.
- Kale, leeks, peas and beans contain B vitamins for energy, nerve and adrenal support. Remember stress reduces your immune function.
- Carrots and sweet potato provide betacarotene to assist the lungs in fighting off infections.
- Ginger and garlic are 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.
- Hot soup helps to thin out mucus. Healthy nasal mucus is clear and thin. During 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.
- Hydrating, electrolyte and minerals rich for your body.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups onion, chopped fine
- 5cm ginger, chopped fine
- 2 cups leeks, chopped
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
- 2 cups sweet potato, diced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 tsp grey or pink sea salt
- 8 cups chicken stock or water
- 1/2 cup parsley, freshly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, freshly chopped
- 1 tbsp of each oregano, thyme, and rosemary, chopped*
- 2 bay leaf, whole
- 4 cups kale, washed and torn
- 1 cup snow peas or green beans, chopped
- 5 chicken drumsticks
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced and divided
*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.
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, 3 garlic cloves, ginger and leeks. Cook until softened — about 3 minutes.
- Add chopped vegetables, chicken drumsticks, salt, chicken stock or water and bay leaf. Increase temperature to high, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook for approximately 30 minutes until vegetables soften, but aren’t mushy.
- 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 chicken stock recipe
Make a calcium-rich chicken stock 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.
- Whole chicken carcass (leftovers from roast chicken dinner)
- 12 cups (3 litres) of water
- 2 cups vegetable scraps: carrot skins, celery leaves, sweet potato peels
- Seasoning: parsley and basil stems
- Optional: unrefined sea salt to taste if desired
Put the chicken, vegetable scraps and the water in a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer and stir well. Cover and cook for 20 min. Remove any large bones or skin and either use to make the soup or cool before storing.
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