Nourishing Foods: Featured Recipe Healing Chicken Soup
Nothing is more healing than your Mom's chicken soup during cold & flu season. Chicken soup has been served as a remedy for the common cold for, well, just about forever. Chicken soup helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptons, like that pesky runny nose, tight, heavy chest, and nasty cough. If you are interested in learning more about the science behind chicken soup, go here.
As a traditional healing food, chicken soup has been revered for improving overall digestion, healing the nerves, reducing allergies, relaxing the body, and boosting strength. What I know from experience, is that when I have a cold I breathe better, my eyes clear up, my nose is less clogged, and I just feel good relief when I eat chicken soup! Many families have their own recipe and I want to share the chicken soup making tradition that has passed down through the generations in my family (with a couple of twists from yours truly ;).
You want to begin with a good stock.
- 1 whole free-range chicken
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 large onion, coursely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coursely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
Place chicken into a large stockpot with water, vinegar, and all veggies except the parsley. Let this stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. As the ingredients warm over time in the water, their fibers open slowly and delicious juices release to add flavor. Bring stock to a boil, and remove any scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more flavorful and rich it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley.
Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and strain the stock into a large bowl. Place this in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off the fat and pour the stock into glass mason jars. Cover and store in your freezer for your chicken soup base.
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup diced or shredded chicken meat
- 3 large carrots, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 small rutabega, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (if you don't want to add thyme to your soup, enjoy some lemon thyme tea during a cold as it minimizes cough & congestion)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
Bring stock and rice to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes until rice is tender. Add the vegetables, chicken, & herbs, season with sea salt & pepper, cook until veggies are just tender, about 30 minutes.
Note: If your children are not huge fans of veggies, finely chop the vegetables for this soup. The smaller they are, the more picky eaters tend to enjoy them! Also, feel free to add any vegetables to this soup that you love!