It feels as though everyone I know has come down with seasonal colds and flues over the last week! Thankfully, we've been spared so far. I'm sure our turn is coming though so I made up a stockpot of Chicken Soup on the weekend for when the time comes.
Grandma knew what she was talking about when she said chicken soup is good for the cold! When chicken is cooked in a soup or broth, it releases an amino acid called cysteine that helps break down mucous and heal the lungs. The addition of other vegetables (garlic, onion, leeks, carrots, and celery) provide vitamins A, B, C, and E, and provide antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
So if the family's feeling queasy, simmer up this traditional favorite and enjoy the flavorful health benefits! There are a zillion variations to Chicken Soup. This is how I make mine (and how my Mom made hers). Gluten-free.
Healthy, Healing, Old-fashioned Chicken Soup
1 whole organic chicken
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1/2 stalk of celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp Herbamare (or sea salt)
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 cups prepared GF Chicken Boullion (I use the Epicure brand)
4 bay leaves
Place whole chicken in a large stock-pot and cover with water. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 minutes or until the meat is ready to fall off the bone. Remove chicken from stock-pot until it's cool enough to handle. Carefully pick apart the meat and return it to the soup in small, bite-sized pieces. Discard the bones. Simmer soup for several hours - the longer, the better! Remove garlic cloves and bay leaves before serving.
If you're feeling well, nothing beats a bowl of warm soup served with crusty white bread, sharp cheddar, and a handful of saltines. :-)
Makes 20+ servings. Freezes well.
For more healthy recipes, I highly recommend The Cottage Mama eBooks. This is the one set of eBooks I continually go back to for recipes (especially the homemade BBQ sauce!). They are to simple to prepare and are generally loved by the whole family.