Warm-me-up & immune-kick chicken soup

Sometimes there’s only one sure-fire way to really warm up. Yep, good old home-made chicken soup. (Perfect if you have a cold too.)  Why is chicken soup helpful for colds? It’s good for the soul & might also help relieve symptoms in two ways. First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils (cells in our immune system). Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus, relieving congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.

Making it this way means you can have a big batch of soup – plus, spare cooked chicken for lunches & home-made chicken stock to freeze for use in other recipes.

Step 1. Making the chicken stock/broth

Just put a chook, 3-4 litres water, splash of vinegar, 2 carrots/2 celery sticks/1 onion – all roughly cut, 3 bay leaves, 1 tspn peppercorns in a big pot or slow-cooker. Boil on the stove, scoop off any foam on the top, then reduce, cover & simmer on low on the stove/slow-cooker, for between 6-24 hours* (the longer the better, as more nutrients and minerals are released from the bones over time.)

* After 6 hours you are either ready to make your soup (as per recipe below) OR you can remove the chicken, take off all the meat (divide into containers or freezer bags in the fridge or freezer) then add the chicken carcass back in the pot & continue cooking for a further 18 hours, for an even more nutrient-dense broth. I do this : )

Step 2. Making the chicken soup

In a pot, combine 1L or so of chook broth/stock with 1.5cm cut chunks of 1 carrot/2 celery sticks/1 onion/1 swede/1 zucchini. Broccoli and cauliflower are good additions too. On the stove, bring the stock to a boil, add veggies and simmer until tender.

WHY NOT GET AN EXTRA IMMUNE-KICK? Once veggies are tender, add 1-3 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 tbsp finely grated ginger & 1/2 tsp finely grated turmeric. Simmer for one minute or so.

Lastly, add parsley, 1/3 of cooked chicken (shredded) step 1 & some celery leaves (yep!) until warm. Season with S&P. Enjoy!

P.S: delicious with seed & nut paleo bread, or grainy sour dough bread…….