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January the 2047th is killing us. This flu and cold season has been ridiculous. My kids have been sick for forever and it’s too cold and wet outside to do anything. Today I decided I had enough and went a little crazy. If you want to know why I picked the ingredients I did, read that at the bottom. 😊 I would love to share but I also know you want the recipe more!

Here’s the soup recipe I made today, in approximations.

Chicken Soup for the Flu

3 whole chicken breasts (mine were frozen but they don’t have to be).
1 onion, diced or finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, pressed
Fresh ginger, pressed to get to 1-2 tsp
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
8-9 c Homemade chicken broth/stock
2 cups kale, chopped and thick stems removed
Handful of parsley, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
A bunch of pasta of your choice (I used parts of two partly-used packages)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Turmeric to taste

 

Put the chicken breasts at the bottom of the inner pot of your pressure cooker. Top with the garlic, Ginger, onions, turmeric, salt and pepper. Then add the carrots, celery, pepper, and broth. Place lid on pressure cooker and select “soup/stock” mode and press start.

After cooking has finished, allow for a 10 minute natural pressure release. Then release any remaining pressure.

Chop or shred chicken breasts, which should be very tender.

Add kale, parsley, mushrooms, and pasta. Set to “sear” or “saute” and boil until noodles are cooked to your liking. Serve hot.

I loved how this soup turned out and will make it again! It makes a lot so you can have plenty of leftovers to keep on hand while fighting colds and the flu.

Why chicken?

I’ve been getting info from a few different articles, and will continue to update as I learn more! Mostly, I have just heard my whole life that chicken soup is what you need when you’re sick. Now I know why!!

Firstly, protein. Chicken is a great source of protein without being loaded with fats. This is a good thing because according to WebMD, they are the “building block(s) of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood”. You are literally building parts of your body when you are consuming protein!

According to healthline, selenium is also a big reason to consume chicken breast! Selenium is thought to have immune boosting and asthma reducing properties, which we definitely need ’round here!

Why onion?

Onions have antioxidants in them, great for pulling out all the nasties you get when you’re sick! Plus, it’s delicious!

Why garlic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

I have heard my whole life of people who eat a clove or two of garlic whenever they feel sick! Besides keeping vampires away, it’s a great immune system booster, among other things.

Why ginger and turmeric? Aren’t those for curry?

Ginger and turmeric are both known anti-inflammatories! According to scienceofrunning.com, “the theory is if we reduce the inflammation, it will speed up the healing”. Why not try for that?

Why carrots?

Aside from a delicious crunch and the rich color they add, carrots are loaded with crucial vitamins and nutrients. Did you know they even have antioxidants?

Why celery?

You always hear that eating celery burns more calories than the thing actually has in it, right? Whether that’s true or not, I am not sure. But I do know that it adds a great flavor and textural element, and also is loaded with vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to fight infections. It’s also part of the mighty mirepoix, AKA a base of flavor common in many cuisines, especially French.

Why bell pepper?

Honestly, I added the bell pepper because I had it and it sounded good. The internet tells me that among the other great reasons you should eat bell peppers, they are loaded with Vitamin C which is awesome at combatitng colds and flu!

Why mushrooms?

To tell you the truth, my girls love mushrooms! That was my initial rationale for adding them to the soup. But did you know that these little bits of fungus are really good for you? They are a great source of vitamin D (which we could all use a little more of during the winter!) and protein!

Why kale?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-wDlw3a_Uc
I just love this clip.

But seriously. Kale? What’s the big deal, anyhow? According to the internet, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods there is! Load up on those leafy greens, y’all! You’ll get all kinds of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber!

Why parsley?

Fresh parsley has such a refreshing taste to it that it brightens up any dish. This soup was no exception. Additionally, I have used cleaners before that used parsley as the main ingredient! I loved how clean my home felt and loved that it wouldn’t hurt my kids. The stuff is loaded with antibacterial compounds. Great for fighting that bug!

Why salt?

Because it makes everything taste better. 😉

Why pepper?

So, I really like pepper. I know a lot of people don’t care for it, but I love it. I love adding it to my food. But apparently it also has a ton of health benefits, too! I think the biggest one for me is that it’s good for your brain. I know mine needs all the help it can get! I also love that it is full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties.

What makes homemade broth better than the stuff from the store?

A couple of weeks ago, my next door neighbor called and asked if I had a cup of chicken broth that she could use. She had run out of her store-bought stuff and just needed a little more. Of course, I said she could come right over. She brought her measuring cup with her and it had the broth she had from home in it. It was kind of a translucent, watery-looking fluid that didn’t look very appetizing. I opened a jar of my homemade stuff and poured it in, and the contents of the measuring cup made a complete transformation. Mine was much darker and a different texture, almost. Much thicker. She said, “Man, you can really tell the difference!” She’s absolutely right! The taste is much better, too!

I think the biggest difference for me is that I know exactly what I’m putting into my body. Because my mom, sister, brother, and daughter all have serious food allergies and intolerances, I have really begun to pay attention to what I am making, buying, and putting into my body. (I am also a bitof a control freak…).