A classic comfort food, chicken soup has been prescribed for body aches and ills since the times of ancient Egypt, and since then has been recommended to treat everything from hemorrhoids to leprosy.
Modern studies at the University of Nebraska have shown chicken soup to contain a unique blend of nutrients that can slow the activity of white blood cells known as neutrophils. This in turn decreases inflammation, which is a large cause of sore throats and mucus in the nasal passageways and upper respiratory path.
Inhaling the steaming broth as you sip also helps to decongest nasal passages and relieve flu and cold symptoms, and since almost everyone equates chicken soup with a little TLC (tender loving care), the placebo effect can also be very strong. If someone who loves you made the soup, its placebo effect obviously increases!
Simple and inexpensive to make, healthy, and easy on the stomach, chicken soup is a tried-and-true traditional healing potion. Whether you add wine like the French, ginger like the Chinese or eggs and lemon like the Greek, an easy chicken soup should be a staple of anyone’s kitchen repertoire.
I had the blessing of a working mother who taught me that I can be anything I want to be, an attitude that hasn’t failed me yet. While she grew up on a farm and could certainly cook a chicken all the way from the front yard and the feathers to the table, her chicken soup is a quick and easy version for moms who have much more than making dinner on their plates.
Pre-cut chicken tenders decrease prep time and fat content, and the one-pot method makes for fast and easy cleanup. Frozen mixed vegetables reduce chopping time (look for organic), and egg noodles don’t fall apart or puff up in leftover soup the way other pastas can.
- 1 pound organic chicken tenders
- 2 quarts organic chicken broth
- 1 cup egg noodles (the narrow, flat ones)
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, broccoli, zucchini or all of the above – fresh or frozen)
- Pinch each of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme and basil
These ingredients can be adjusted to taste; noodle lovers may want more egg noodles and veggie lovers might add more vegetables. Leaving the vegetables out entirely is also okay!
1. Place broth in a large stew pot and heat to a boil.
2. Add chicken tenders and boil them in the broth until completely cooked, approximately 12 minutes.
2. Remove chicken from broth, cut into pieces, and return to stew pot.
4. Add chopped vegetables and egg noodles and cook until they are done, about 10-12 minutes.
5. Serve chicken soup with some salty crackers and juice, and feel better soon!
Variation: Instead of egg noodles, use store bought biscuit dough. Break apart the biscuits into thirds and drop into the boiling water after the chicken is done and cook along with the vegetables. Presto: chicken and dumplings!
Want to make your soups even healthier? Try out our 4 Tips for Super Soup Recipes.
image: Ron Dollete