Why Chicken Soup is Good for the Soul

Oh, how I remember the days of my grandmother showing up with a steamy pot of homemade chicken soup when I was sick! There was nothing that made me feel better than her soup. Just like the popular, uplifting book series, I swear it was made for my soul! Apparently, she was really on to something and understood the healing powers of chicken soup – this was more than just love in a bowl!

What is it about this tried and true dish that always makes us feel a bit better?

Whether you’re experiencing the sniffles or you just need to warm up on a cold day there's nothing better than a bowl of homemade chicken soup.

When Conventional Wisdom Meets Nutrition

Why chicken soup? It's loaded with vitamins and minerals all in one bowl!

For starters, the main ingredient in chicken soup is poultry, which is loaded with lean protein to aid the body in optimum functioning. The body requires protein to build and repair tissue and bone.

chicken soup 2Add in those sweet carrots and it's like you’re eating the alphabet of vitamins! They're loaded with vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K, along with niacin (or B3) that helps the body break down carbs, fats and proteins into energy. Who doesn’t need a dose of energy when you’re under the weather? Longterm, superfood carrots are also good for vision, reducing cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart attacks, reducing the signs of premature aging, and boosting the immune system.

Don’t forget about the often overlooked veggie celery. This green machine is loaded with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, and minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. Celery also contains polysaccharides and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and stimulate regrowth of tissue in the body. The bile juices found in celery also helps to reduce cholesterol levels.

Don’t skip the onion! While you might cry while dicing it, your body will thank you later for all the benefits it reaps. You might not realize that onions contain essential oils that have antiseptic and antibacterial properties to help you fight that nasty cold. Onions also contain the antioxidant Quercetin, which is known to reduce inflammation.

Pair onion with its best friend garlic and it will help alleviate depression, along with reducing pain, inflammation, and blood clots in the body.

Grandmother's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

When you feel the sniffles coming on or just need something to warm your soul try my Grandmother’s homemade chicken noodle soup. And if you have little hands around the house, have the children help you make the homemade noodles. My grandmother taught me how to make her famous egg noodles at an early age. Not only were the noodles fun to make but I have fond memories of spending quality time with my grandmother in the kitchen!

Ingredients

2/3 – Organic Chicken Breasts (or substitute rotisserie chicken breast meat)
3 – 32 oz containers of organic chicken broth
2 – Large carrots peeled and sliced
2 – Stalks of celery, diced
1 – Package of green onions (substitute leeks if you prefer)
1 – White onion (I only use a slice or two, minced)
2 – Cloves of garlic
1 – Egg, and a small amount of flour
1 – Small lemon (to season chicken breast)
Optional – whole raw mushrooms for extra flavor, salt and pepper.

Directions

In a large stock pot place a drop or two of olive oil, minced garlic, and a small amount of white onion. Sauté for a few minutes on medium heat until you smell the flavors bursting. Next, pour in the chicken broth and reduce to low heat. Add in diced green onions, celery, and carrots. I add in 2-3 raw whole mushrooms for additional flavor and nutritional value (I use a vegetable chopper because my children don’t like large chunk veggies).

While the broth and vegetables are simmering, dice/slice raw chicken breasts into small pieces. Then combine poultry in a skillet combined with a minced clove of garlic, and diced green onions. Squeeze a half to whole small lemon over raw chicken meat and a drizzle of olive oil (lemon is my substitute for salt). Cook chicken breasts until they are white on the inside (but you still want the meat to be juicy so be cautious not to overcook). Toss the cooked meat into the simmering broth and vegetables, and voila! This can slow cook for hours or be served immediately.

Homemade Noodles

NoodlesWhen you're ready to eat make the egg noodles (frozen egg noodles can be substituted for homemade noodles). Crack one egg into a bowl, combine salt and pepper, and add flour to consistency. Form into a ball and roll out on wax paper with a rolling pin. Next gently sprinkle dough with a light amount of flour and roll dough up into a vertical similar to cinnamon rolls.

Slice the dough thinly and unroll noodles. Bring soup broth to a boil and add noodles. Allow to cook at a medium–high boil for 15 – 20 minutes and serve!

Enjoy homemade chicken noodle soup and you might just ward off a cold or warm up. Either way, you’re sure to have a little fun in the kitchen!

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