To those of you who attended the recent “Making Homemade Soups & Breads” class, here is the “medicinal” soup I promised to share. According to Consumer Reports, studies have shown that chicken soup actually does help “fight the common cold.” This is done primarily by reducing the following symptoms:
“Inhaling the warm steam of the soup loosens nasal secretions, which helps drain sinuses. The soup’s heat may also ease throat soreness, and the broth helps prevent dehydration. [In addition] chicken soup may have a mild anti-inflammatory effect…[by preventing] excessive buildup of virus-fighting cells called neutrophils, which trigger the inflammatory responses that make cold sufferers feel so rotten.”
This is the soup I have made for my family whenever any of us are suffering from a cold or upset stomach. If a family member is suffering from a cold, then I will add rice, veggies, and chicken or turkey meat to the recipe. If they have an upset stomach, then I will leave the soup mostly as a broth. It is best to use homemade chicken stock, if you have it. If not, then use a high-quality, low-sodium store-bought brand.
GARLIC CHICKEN SOUP FOR COLDS AND COUGHS by Dr. Irwin Ziment (adapted)
(From an old newspaper article by Mel Walsh about the book “Food Pharmacy” by Jean Carper.)
Note: Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients. Just do the best you can with what you have.
28 oz chicken broth (homemade is best)
1 bulb garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5 sprigs parsley, minced (curly or flat-leaf)
6 sprigs cilantro, minced
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp minced mint leaves
1 tsp minced basil (or about 1/2 tsp dry basil)
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½-2 cups diced onion, carrots, celery (optional)
½-1 cup cooked rice (optional)
A few drops tabasco sauce
salt, to taste.
Put the broth in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and vegetables, if desired, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes or so. Add the parsley, cilantro and spices. Add the cooked rice. Cover and simmer gently for another 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a few drops of tabasco sauce and salt, to taste.