Your body craves nutrient-dense foods to support its many complex functions, including the immune system. Which is why I have packed this immune-boosting soup with nutrient-dense foods such as herbs, spices and vegetables that are high in antimicrobial properties and immune-supporting vitamins and minerals, making it the perfect soup to enjoy during winter months to help your body fight against colds, flu and other viruses #corona.
Vegetables including carrots, celery and onions and healing spices like ginger, turmeric and garlic simmering in a homemade chicken broth offering up an abundance of vitamins and minerals that can help the immune system work properly and influence its response.
Chicken Broth contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin and antioxidants, which are known to build a strong immune system and fight off viruses. In addition, the protein from chicken provides amino acids that are used to build antibodies to fight infection. (NOTE: You can completely omit the chicken in this recipe if you prefer to make this soup vegan friendly).
Garlic is known for its antimicrobial properties and has been used for centuries to help the immune system fight off infection. Studies have shown that garlic can be helpful in reducing the occurrence of colds and their overall length which is why I use garlic in almost everything (and because I’m Italian so it comes with the territory).
Onions are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. In addition, they are one of the best sources of quercetin, a potent flavonoid, and antioxidant that has antiviral properties as well as histamine regulating effects (breaking up mucus in your head and chest). Onions also contain allicin which slows down and destroys a variety of unwanted microbes.
Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, including magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps destroy cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever.
Turmeric has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that also help to give your immune system a boost. It contains the active compound called Curcumin, which is said to help boost your immune system health by helping your body defend itself and function at its best. Turmeric also helps boost white blood cells which help your immune system fight off bacteria, viruses and other ailments.
This soup is easy to make and your kitchen will smell amazing! Simply divide the ingredients into 2 large pots (or ½ the recipe to make a smaller batch), add water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 1 hour or even longer.
Fresh garlic and fresh ginger are non-negotiable in this recipe and if you can get your hands on fresh turmeric go ahead and use it otherwise a high-quality turmeric powder will do.
You can enjoy this soup as is or add cooked rice, pasta or other grain like barley or quinoa.
This soup can easily be transformed into the classic Vietnamese Noodle Soup PHO by adding a few dashes of fish sauce and Tamari and serving this soup with cooked rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, fresh mint, Thai basil, lime wedges and of course some chili-garlic sauce on the side!
- 1 whole chicken or chicken legs/thighs (cleaned, skin removed)
- 12 cups water or more
- 4 medium size onions, peeled and cut in half
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 4 large carrots cut into large pieces
- 4 large celery stocks cut into large piece
- 2 tsp sea salt or more to taste
- 4 one inch pieces of fresh ginger + 2 tbsp graded fresh ginger to add before serving
- 2 tbsp graded fresh turmeric (or high-quality turmeric powder)
- 6 bay leaves
- 6 whole star anise
- Optional “PHO” soup: add a few dashes of fish sauce and Tamari (or soya sauce) and serve with rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, fresh mint, Thai basil, lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce for that “pho” like experience.
NOTE: This recipe makes 2 large pots of soup (or half the recipe and make a smaller batch using 1 large pot)
Step 1: Divide the ingredients into 2 large pots including the chicken pieces and fill each pot with water leaving a few inches of space at the top (approx. 8 -12 cups of water or more each pot). Reserve the 2 tbsp of fresh graded ginger to be added right before serving.
Step 2: Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cover loosely with a lid. Allow the broth to simmer for at least 45 mins or more.
Step 3: Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove the vegetables and spices, making sure to catch the broth in a separate bowl and then add the broth back to the pot to simmer. (NOTE: Feel free to cut up the vegetables into smaller pieces and add back into the broth at this time, I prefer to leave them out as they have done their job).
Step 4: While the broth is simmering remove the chicken from the bones and shred using a fork then add the chicken back to the broth and allow to simmer for another 20 min or so. I like to add a bit of grated fresh ginger and the juice 1 fresh lime to the broth along with the chicken and if you want to turn this into Pho Noodle soup this is the time to add in a few dashes of fish sauce and Tamari. Remember to taste the soup before serving to ensure you have the right amount of seasoning.
This soup is delicious on its own, but feel free to add cooked rice or pasta. For Pho Noodle soup, serve over cooked rice noodles and garnish with fresh bean sprouts, fresh mint, Thai basil, lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce.