My mom always made chicken soup when I was sick as a kid, saying it was “good for colds”. A few decades later, the Mayo Clinic lists chicken soup as a cold remedy, writing that it is anti-inflammatory and relieves congestion. PubMed (an online database of medical journals) even has a study showing the beneficial effects of chicken soup on upper respiratory infections (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11035691). Once again, mom was right all along!
Particularly in the winter, one of the staples in my diet is chicken soup. I can make a pot of soup in 1-2 hours on the weekend that will provide lunches for the whole week. I often keep some homemade broth in the freezer so that I can make a pot quickly when I am not feeling well and my energy is low or I am busy and my time is limited. Sometimes, I just drink the broth by itself for extra nutrients.
- ½ chicken cut into pieces (remove skin, leave bones in)
- 4 large carrots
- 6 stalks of celery
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 bunch kale
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1/4 cup dried parsley
- ½ onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- sea salt to taste
MAKING THE BROTH: Broth can be made from a ½ chicken cut into pieces. If you purchase a whole chicken, the butcher will cut it up for you. Alternately, you can buy split chicken breasts with the bone in, thighs, and/or legs separately. Remove the skin and cover the pieces with water in a 5-quart pot. Add onion, garlic, parsley and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on medium until the water starts to boil. Then simmer on low until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (1 to 1.5 hours).
MAKING THE SOUP: When the chicken is cooked, remove the pieces to let them cool. Add chopped vegetables, with the exception of the kale, to the pot and cooked to desired texture. Turn the burner off and add kale. Remove chicken from the bones and add back to the pot.
Lunch is served!