Chicken soup is considered to be the ultimate soul food and has been prescribed since time immemorial to ease the symptoms of colds and flu. A study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center set out to discover if there was any scientific basis for chicken soup’s supposed healing properties and found that it can reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improve digestion.* Other research has shown that chicken soup boosts the immune system and can help to treat disorders, such as allergies, asthma, and arthritis.
Bone broths, such as chicken soup, feature in the cuisines of many cultures and are currently all the rage amongst health and traditional food enthusiasts. They are chock-full of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon and sulphur in a form that our bodies can easily absorb and are being used to treat a range of disorders, such as leaky gut and food intolerances.
So, to stay healthy this winter and keep the sniffles at bay, why not try the recipe for a delicious chicken soup below. It’s easy to make, inexpensive and a great way to use up parts of the chicken that would otherwise be thrown away.
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 4-5 hours for best results (minimum 2 hours cooking time).
1 tablespoon rice bran or vegetable oil
2 organic/free range chicken carcasses
4 organic/free range chicken wings
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped into rings
1/2 bunch celery with leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional – thought to be good for drawing out the goodness from the bones)
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion, carrot , garlic and celery (stalks and leaves) and mix with wooden spoon for approx. 5 minutes until softened.
Add the chicken carcasses and wings and then fill with water till all covered. You will lose some liquid while cooking so make sure you have plenty to start with. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a light boil. Once boiling, turn flame down to minimum and leave pot with lid on for 4/5 hours to simmer slowly.
Once ready, remove the carcasses and wings with a slotted spoon. Remove any loose bones that have separated while cooking.
Serve with egg noodles (cook them in separate pot and add to soup when serving).
Note: You can leave the soup to cool and place in the fridge overnight. The fat will come to the top and this can be scraped off the next day. Keep the fat in a plastic bag or container in the freezer for next time you make the soup. It can be use to sauté the vegetables instead of the oil.
* Rennard, BA, Ertl, RF, Gossman, GL, et al.. (2000). Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. 118, 1150-1157