The Benefits of Chicken Soup

In the world of constantly advancing technology, old-fashioned remedies often become obsolete. Chicken soup, the one that your grandmother and mother made for you when you got sick, is one of these “old-fashioned” panaceas.

Chicken soup has been around for ages, yet its beneficial healing properties are always questioned and understated, and when we get sick, many reach for costly pharmaceutical drugs instead.

Perhaps chicken soup is not “cool” enough, and doesn’t go well with our complex shakes and protein bars carrying familiar logos of GF, V and VG. But I digress.

The benefits of chicken soup go far beyond grandma’s and mom’s loving comfort, and more and more studies support that chicken soup can be an alternative medicine in many different ways.

When you have a stuffy nose, or congestion in your head and chest, chicken soup works wonders by thinning mucus and making it easier to breathe.

Also, studies suggest that it may have anti-inflammatory properties as well, and it also helps to stay hydrated, which is important when we’re sick.

Whether battling an illness, recovering after surgery or trauma, or soothing your digestion, chicken soup, rich in minerals and vitamins, can be just what you need. Enhanced with nutritional value of vegetables, and thus vitamins A,C, D and E, it is a truly a super-food.

When I make chicken soup, I use organic chicken, preferably free range, with bones and skin on. That way the soup is also rich in collagen which helps to repair damaged tissues occurred after surgery or trauma. As a bonus, collagen acts as anti-aging, helping to keep skin smooth,hair healthy and joints strong.

I use variety of fresh vegetables, depending on what I find in my refrigerator: onions, carrots, sweet potatos, spinach, turnips, celery, sliced zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli florets.

I encourage you to experiment with the ingredients you like and see what makes the best chicken soup for your taste. Be creative and use immune boosters like ginger, turmeric and cinnamon stick to enhance the nutritional value even more. When you add rice, quinoa or noodles, it becomes a complete satisfying meal any time.

Olya’s Chicken Soup Recipe
serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of chicken legs, (7-9 drumsticks)*
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ginger (about 1 inch), peeled and chopped.
  • black pepper, sea salt to taste
  • half a cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • cup of baby spinach
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Optional:

  • Few dry bay leaves
  • Half of cinnamon stick
  • Piece of turmeric

*can be substituted with whole chicken,quartered

Put chicken legs in a large soup pot and add water to cover the chicken;
Bring to a boil. Skim the foam.
Add salt, pepper, bay leaves, ginger and turmeric and reduce the heat to a very low temperature. Cover and cook for an hour.
Add all the remaining ingredients except parsley and baby spinach.
Cook for another half an hour. In the last 5 minutes add spinach and parsley.
Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with chopped cilantro in a bowl.

Soup always tastes better when it sits for few hours or next day.