Immunity-Boosting Chicken Soup Recipe (Can Chicken Soup cure the Common Cold?)
I won’t go so far as to claim that chicken soup is a miracle healer. 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.
9 healthy reasons to make this Chicken Soup!
- Shiitake mushrooms fight off the flu. Shiitake mushrooms contain a unique compound called Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC). This compound has been shown to increase your immune response after being exposed to the flu virus; stock up on these mushrooms to stay healthy all winter.1
- Fresh herbs rosemary, thyme and oregano contain essential oils that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial.2 3
- Using real chicken broth, made with the bones of a chicken, means it will contain B vitamins (in the marrow), calcium, magnesium and zinc all of which can assist your immune cells in fighting off colds and flu.
- Green vegetables such as kale, leek, 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.
- Orange carrots and sweet potato provide a rich source of Pro-Vitamin A to assist your lungs in fighting off infections.4
- Ginger and garlic are both powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting spices. You will notice this soup has triple the amount of spice 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!5 6
- Hot soup helps to thin out mucus. When you’re healthy, your 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 this chicken soup can thin that mucus and help your body fight infection.
- This soup is hydrating and provides electrolyte minerals that your body uses to carry electrical signals from cell to cell. When you run a fever, you can get dehydrated, which decreases these critical minerals.
- It tastes so darn good because of all the fresh ingredients. That alone will cheer you up... and a smile has been shown to be the best immunity-booster of all!
Comforting Chicken Soup
This chicken soup is food for both body and soul. It provides electrolyte minerals, which your body uses to carry electrical signals from cell to cell.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
5 cloves garlic, 3 cloves sliced and 2 cloves minced, divided
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 cups chopped leeks (white and green parts)
2 cups chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 cups sliced carrots, in ¼-inch rounds
2 cups diced unpeeled sweet potatoes
1 cup sliced celery
8 boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs, cut into cubes
8 cups chicken broth (see page 186 for Golden Chicken Bone Broth)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp pink rock or gray sea salt
4 cups chopped kale
1 cup chopped snow peas or green beans
½ cup each chopped fresh parsley and basil
1 Tbsp each chopped fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary
1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, sliced garlic, ginger and leeks. Cook until
softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the shiitake, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, chicken, broth, bay leaves and salt. Increase the temperature to high, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables soften but don’t become mushy.
3. Stir in the kale, snow peas or green beans, the fresh herbs and the minced garlic. Simmer for another few minutes
to meld the favors and soften the kale. (Adding these ingredients at the end means that the veggies stay bright
green and the garlic provides maximum immune benefit.)
Makes 12 servings. Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
It’s important to use real chicken or turkey broth that has been made with the bones (see page 186). Poultry bones contain nutrients such as B vitamins (in the marrow), calcium, magnesium and zinc, which can assist your immune cells to better fight of viruses and build collagen.
Use fresh herbs whenever possible; their flavor and levels of essential oils are at their peak. If fresh herbs are unavailable, substitute 1 tsp each dried.
Make a calcium-rich bone broth in advance so your immunity-boosting soup can come together in a flash when you’re under the weather.
- You can store the broth for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- All the veggie scraps provide extra immunity-supporting minerals.
- 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 necessarily 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 gelatine 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.
- Sreenivasan Sasidharan, Sugumaran Aravindran, Lachimanan Yoga Latha, Ratnasamy Vijenthi, Dharmaraj Saravanan and Santhanam Amutha: "In Vitro Antioxidant Activity and Hepatoprotective Effects of Lentinula edodes against Paracetamol-Induced Hepatotoxicity” Molecules 2010, 15(6), 4478-4489; doi:10.3390/molecules15064478 Article Published: 23 June 2010
- K. Zomorodian, M. J. Saharkhiz, M. J. Rahimi, A. Bandegi, G. Shekarkhar, A. Bandegani, K. Pakshir and A. Bazargani: “Chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of the essential oils from three ecotypes of Zataria multiflora” Pharmacogn Mag. 2011 Jan-Mar; 7(25): 53–59. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.75902 PMCID: PMC3065158
- Ozkalp B., Sevgi F., Ozcan M., Ozcan M. “The antibacterial activity of essential oil of oregano” Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment. (2010); 2: 272-273
- Voutilainen S., et al. “Carotenoids and cardiovascular health.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2006: 83(6): 1265-1271.
- Christopher D. Black: “Acute effects of dietary ginger on quadriceps muscle pain during moderate-intensity cycling exercise.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. January 2009. Impact Factor: 2.44 · Source: PubMed
- Tariq H. Abdullah, MD, 0. Kandil, PhD, A.Elkadi, MD, and J.Carter, MD : “Garlic Revisited: Therapeutic for the major disease of our times?” Journey of the National Medical Association VOL. 80, NO. 4, 1988