It was bound to happen. Three weeks into the school year and I have a cold. I am doing everything to get better – drinking lots of clear fluids, resting as much as I can, taking immune-boosting supplements, washing my hands, and eating lots of nourishing chicken noodle soup. Chicken soup has been used for centuries to soothe symptoms associated with the cold and flu, most likely due to many nutrient- and antioxidant-dense ingredients it contains.
These ingredients often include polyphenol-packed onions, beta carotene-rich carrots, virus-fighting garlic, and, of course, chicken. Chicken is an excellent source of the compound carnosine. Preliminary studies have found carnosine to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may stave off viral infections such as the flu by stopping it from replicating and spreading inside cells.
The comforting warm broth of this soup may also help loosen mucus to ease congestion and alleviate a sore throat.
Chicken Noodle Soup
• 1 Tbsp sesame oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
• 2 large carrots, diced
• 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
• 1 tsp each dried thyme, oregano, cilantro (coriander leaves), and ginger
• 5 cups water
• 1/2-inch bunch of whole grain spaghetti snapped in two, small pasta shells, or other pasta of your choice
• 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
• 1 Tbsp honey
• 1 tsp tamari
• 2 Tbsp lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
Heat sesame oil in a large stockpot. Add garlic, onion, potato, carrots and bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes; add herbs, spices and water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add spaghetti, chicken or tofu, honey and tamari, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, covered. In the last couple minutes of cooking, add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
Photo from here, with thanks.