I love the winter. I’m a New England gal through and through. Except I don’t watch football and I don’t drink DnD. So maybe not a “true” New Englander. But still, give me a good snow fall and nice blanket and I happy. Until to cold and flu season sets in. Then I’m pretty much running around my house with a Clorox wipe in one hand and a tissue on the other. (The tissue normally isn’t for me) So right before the germs creep into every crevice of my children’s being and all over my house, I like to make a huge pot of my “Kick the Cold Chicken Soup”. It’s like normal chicken soup, but better! How so? I add a few out of the norm ingredients.
In my short history of research, I’ve run across a few herbs and spices that always pop up when talking about cold and flu. One is Turmeric.
Turmeric contains Curcumin. Curcumin contains high levels of antioxidants. Those things that work to keep your body healthy. It will also stain the heck out of anything it gets on. By adding black pepper you can enhance the health benefits of Turmeric. It’s true and science.
Next is ginger. I know it’s not that out of the ordinary, but it’s often over looked in regards to chicken soup. Ginger contains Gingerol, it’s the bioactive substance which can help lower the risk of infections. It thought that ginger can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. Bonus!
After these two the ingredients get more normal, thyme, sage, whole rotisserie chicken…. This isn’t a heat and eat sort of thing.
I use bone broth as the base of many of my soups/stews. It’s another one of those super foods that we some how forgot about. It help your body in all sorts of ways. From joint health to detoxing your liver! Think bye bye stomach bug. You can even just drink bone broth. I enjoy a glass at night when I’ve been under the weather. Real comfort food!
For my herbs I use Sage and Thyme. Classic in the kitchen. Sage actually peps you up. The effects of sage can be compared to that of a cup of coffee or tea. It can elevate your mood. And let’s face it no one is happy when they are sick. Thyme, along with boosting your mood, can also help if you have a pesky cough.
Celery is packed with vitamin C. I know, who knew, right?!? And carrots are another antioxidant rich food that also happen to taste amazing in bone broth!
Garlic has been shown to reduce the duration of a cold from 5 day to as little and 1-2! Sign me up for the garlic train! But only if it includes a nose plug. But seriously always increase your garlic consumption if you’re not feeling well. Just another awesome food.
I used to use the crock pot but with the two bears, I’ve upgraded to “the big pot”. It’s the pot that ended up holding all the other pots to make room for the crock pot. I need to get some serious reorganization going on in the kitchen.
Noodles, to add or not to add, that is the question. Bear loves noodles, little bear lover noodles, hubs loves noodles, I love noodles. So we add them. They don’t add much in the health department but they add a bit a heartiness to the soup that leave us filled and happy! We get Udon noddles from the store in the frozen section and I add them in at the end so as to not over cook them. If you want you can add a gluten free option, just read the ingredients and make sure it works for you. Rice also works nice.
So finally here is there recipe you’ve been waiting for. Remember cooking is an expression of love. Put good vibes into what you make and it will always come out right. Unless you get distracted and burn it. Then order out and be happy about not having more dishes 😉
Cold Kicking Chicken Soup
Mesh bag (think cheese cloth)
Whole Rotisserie Chicken (cooked)
2 boxes Pacific Bone Broth
1 1/2 tbsp Dried Turmeric
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 1/2 tbsp Dried Ginger
1 Twig Fresh Sage
2 Twigs Fresh Thyme
4 large Carrots Chopped
1/2 Tsp Black pepper
3 Stalks Celery Chopped
1 Onion Chopped
1 Bunch Kale (or collared greens) Chopped
2 servings on Udon Noddles (optional)
Take the chicken and remove as much meat as you can. Pour the bone broth in the pot and turn to stove onto a medium heat. As the broth starts to simmer add in the chicken (with skin). In a separate mesh bag place all the fresh herbs (you get all the benefit but not in the twiggy texture)and add them into the broth with the kale (or collared greens). Allow the soup to simmer for an hour to allow the chicken, greens and herbs to blend flavors. Add in the remaining ingredients. Let it all simmer for about an hour. When ready to server remove the mesh bags and enjoy! Depending on the size of your pot you may need to adjust the amount of bone broth.