Immune Boosting Chicken Soup

November 6, 2018

This recipe started with my children in mind for sick days, cold days and just days where I was out of ideas on what to cook for dinner so we had soup with something simple on the side like a quesadilla or sandwich.  When I think of an ingredient or a food I would like to make for my family, I take apart the ingredients in my mind and try to focus on them one at a time to make the best possible choices when purchasing.  A very important one for me is home made bone broth whether chicken or beef.  My soup recipes always starts with a home made collagen rich bone broth made from grass fed, organic bones of course.

To make my broth for a soup like this I would normally use the whole chicken and reduce it which is partly the reason for that rich yellow colour.  If I remember, I add a bit of turmeric as well in the broth for some anti-inflammatory & antioxidant benefits.  I use this soup as a base for my other soups as well because most days I always have a little bit of this saved in the freezer for a quick flavour boost in my meals.  I add a bit of pasta for the kids because they prefer it but if I made it for myself I would add some sweet potatoes and carrots for a beta carotene boost.

I love soups!  Since I was younger my grandmother and mom always made soups.  They made soup from all the vegetables they picked in the garden as well as from fresh seafood that was caught that day perhaps just hours before purchasing.  Even though I was born and raised in a hot, tropical country, soup somehow managed to always be a part of our weekly lunches & dinners as far back as I can remember.  When my grand mother made soup, root vegetables that came from her garden or a neighbour’s garden was always an ingredient.  The herbs she used came from her very own backyard and if she used chicken, well she had her own chickens, ducks and at times turkeys as well.

To make my soup base I always start with grass fed organic chicken that I get from a local farm.  The odd times during the winter when I cannot visit the farm myself, I use a whole organic chicken from the grocery store.  I am fortunate enough to live in a small town with a lot of farms around so I shop at the local farms first and then the grocery store after for anything else that I may need.

Immune Boosting Chicken Soup

Recipe for Chicken Broth

  • 1 whole organic chicken (if you cannot get organic please try hormone & antibiotic free)
  • 2 tablespoons of Braggs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

Instructions 

  • I always start with washing the chicken and covering it with cold water, adding the salt, turmeric and apple cider vinegar before filling the pot with water
  • I bring it to a boil for about 15 minutes then turn it to simmer and cook it on the stove for about 2 hours
  • You can cook it longer if you like
  • The reason why I only cook it for two hours is that the bones start to fall apart and the apple cider vinegar keeps the meat tender and draws the minerals out of the bones.
  • Once the broth cools a little you can skim some of the fat off if you like
  • The broth can be made ahead as well
  • After cooling, strain the broth with a fine strainer and de-bone the chicken
  • I use some of the chicken in the soup itself, not more than one chicken breast, and I use the rest of the chicken for other fast dinners such as fajitas, chicken salad sandwiches etc.

In the broth you can add any flavours you like.  I have tried it with bay leaves instead of turmeric and that also turned out delicious. When I make this soup in early fall though and the kids are back at school it’s normally a time when everyone starts to come home with the sniffles, and I have this healing & soothing soup ready to go.

If you make the broth ahead of time, you can store it for a few days in the refrigerator and when you’re ready to use, if it jiggles like jelly, you’ve done a great job!

Once your chicken breast is deboned (very important nobody wants to bite on a bone) and chopped and the broth is strained, you’re ready to put the soup together!

Soup Ingredients 

  • 1 pot of chicken broth (I use about 1.5 L from my recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 stalk of leek chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1/2 cup (or more if you like) of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of soup pasta

You can add any ingredients you really want to the soup like left over vegetables.  I have varied my ingredients from time to time and found a few that worked really well for me.  As I mentioned earlier I am lucky enough to have multiple local farms around me so I am able to get organic ingredients for my soup and at this time of the year I can find it all at the local farm.  I don’t know why but the dried basil gives the chicken soup a very comforting flavour.  You really need to try it!

I LOVE garlic!  In fact, my mom cooks with no less than 3 garlic cloves per dish.  I am thankful for that of course and it’s a background story I will tell in another blog post!  In my soup however, I do not use garlic or onions.  The leek gives the soup a very mild sweet flavour as well as the other ingredients and it’s so subtle and harmonious that I don’t like adding any strong flavours to it.  This is what gives the soup that extra comfort.

It is also a time where you can use up the last little bit of pasta and as you can see I have two different kinds in the soup, just the last little bit from the bag that I had on hand.

Instructions

  • Sauté the vegetables for 3-5 minutes in a bit of olive oil, add the broth and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, if the vegetables are ready then add the pasta & chopped chicken.  At this point I turn the stove off and leave the pot on the burner but covered.  The soup pasta cooks very quickly so I can leave it and turn it after it sits for another 15 minutes.  If you use a thicker pasta though you will need to boil for an extra few minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper or other spices to taste.

Side Note:  This recipe can also be made gluten free by adding gluten free pasta.

Enjoy!

About the Author

Reesa Mustafa

Holistic Nutritionist

Stouffville

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates

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