They say chicken soup is good for the soul, but what about the body?
Let's take a look at chicken soup as a medicinal remedy for the common cold. Was Grandma right, if you eat chicken soup when you're fighting the common cold, will it help?
The chicken soup folklore has been around as long as people have, handed down generation to generation, along with the favorite chicken soup family recipe. The medicinal claims have never been proven, but from the time of the ancient Greeks, it has been used religiously to less the effects of a cold or the flu.
The ingredients in chicken soup include chicken of course, carrots, celery, water or broth and spices, always including garlic. The soup is served steaming hot, which is where I believe one of the medicinal claims stems from. Let's face it; Whenever you're feeling stuffy, drinking anything that is steaming hot helps to open up the sinuses, which immediately helps you to breathe better, then you begin to feel better.
If we take a closer look at the ingredients of chicken soup, one in particular stands out for its antioxidant benefits. Garlic is considered by herbalists to be one of the most useful herbs for medicinal purposes. Many cultures have used garlic for centers in medicines, as it is a known antioxidant, used to treat many respiratory ailments including hoarseness, coughs and the common cold. The main compound in garlic, allistatin has antibiotic qualities used in some cultures to treat whooping cough, flu and other viral and bacterial diseases.
Any you look at it, a steaming bowl of hot chicken soup when you're feeling under the weather can not hurt, and if you add garlic to your recipe, it may help.
The recipes below should be individualized, use the ingredients that you and your family like, do not like carrots? Use turnips instead. If your family is partial to peas, add peas. Use rice instead of pasta, whatever suits your taste. Just be sure to add the garlic, as stated above, its medicinal ingredients make it a great addition to any soup.
Basic Soup Recipe
1 3 lb chicken, 3 quarts of water
3 large Carrots
3 stalks of Celery
Onion Salt and pepper to taste 1 bay leaf Fresh chopped basil.
Put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer for 3 hours, skimming the surface often. Remove the chicken, remove meat from the bones, and put aside. Discard vegetables, and chill broth. After broth as chilled for a while, remove fat from the top. You are now ready to use broth in your soup.
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Celery, coarsely chopped
Diced garlic to taste
Any small pasta
Simmer until carrots and celery are soft and pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.