Chicken Soup for Soul & Body


We’re still in the flu season. I’m still working on getting my energy back from my this-years edition of The Flu. Many of you probably are. Whatever sort of malady is going around when this column hits print, you can benefit from this old-fashioned chicken soup. You don’t even have to be a convalescent to be cheered and nourished by it. And you can make it with any meaty chicken parts, skin on. Chicken is low in saturated fat–which is not as wicked as it’s made out to be. Your brain cells need it for their skin.

Grandma served any victim of a cold Chicken Soup. It works against whatever germs you my be or have been exposed to, having mushrooms for their healing power, basil and oregano as anti-bacterials and flavor enhancers, cloves for anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect, carrots yielding more than a day’s worth of Vitamin A, garlic to kill germs, and onion to boost immunity. The chicken skin yields cysteine, a protein that protects against cold and flu germs. Dice it after cooking and return it to the soup pot.

Magic Potion #2:
Grandma’s Chicken Soup
6 servings
1 small chicken, cut up, or 6 to 8 drumsticks, skin on
1 large onion, diced
3 to 4 long carrots, sliced
1 parsnip cut in 1-inch chunks
4 crimini or other mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon iodized salt
12 peppercorns
1 Tablespoon vinegar or 1 wineglass white wine
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley,
1 teaspoons chicken granules     or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon dried crumbled basil leaves
½ teaspoon dried crumbled oregano leaves      or 1/8 teaspoon oregano powder
1 teaspoon dried, crumbled kelp, optional

In a stockpot or large kettle, put the first eight ingredients. Cover with water plus an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, put the lid on the pot, and cook gently for 1 hour.
Add the second group of ingredients and water as needed to keep an inch deep over the ingredients. Simmer another half hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. By now the meat should be so tender it almost falls off the bones. Serve warm. Refrigerate any extra soup and reheat up to four days later, or freeze it in an ice cube tray and reheat a handful of cubes for a single portion.

BTW: Magic Potion #1 is simple, and protects against all germs. The cloves soothe a sore throat, too. Just simmer a stick of cinnamon and a small handful of whole cloves in a pint of water until the water turns brown. Store in a capped jar. Sip or gargle a few tablespoonfuls at the first indication of a cold or sore throat, or enjoy in tea or coffee.