The idea of chicken noodle soup as a remedy for colds and flu has long been considered an old wives’ tale. But like many recipes, remedies and homeopathic cures, chicken noodle soup as a healing agent is based in scientific truth. The Mayo Clinic has looked into the value of soups and they found that the warm broth actually helps to clear nasal passage. The New York Times also explored the healing properties of soup and their findings went even farther, showing that chicken soup with vegetables actually slowed the migration of important infection-fighting cells in the body, subsequently, reducing upper respiratory symptoms.
While the science behind WHY some soups make us feel better is more complex than we’ll get into here, the fact is, soup makes us feel good. Even as an adult, the right kind of soup reminds me of being taken care of as a kid. Of course, these days, more often than not, I’m the one doing the caretaking, but soup still has a comforting effect. And while chicken noodle soup is still a go-to “feel-better” recipe in our house, we’ve added a few more items to our repertoire that I hope my kids will remember as adults for that same sense of well-being I get from my memories.
The following recipes take traditional chicken noodle soup to a new level, offering vegetarian options, as well as new twists on old classics. These recipes are some that we’ve come to love, not just for their cold and flu benefits, but also for their tastiness. Now keep in mind, there are a lot of recipes out there and taste is subjective. But we’ve picked our favorites because they are all:
- Full of healing or “symptom relief” properties
- Easy to make
- Made from simple, easy-to-access ingredients
The best part of all of these soups is that whether you’re making them for one person, or the whole family, they will make a perfect meal for the cold winter months – even after colds and flu have gone.
5Grandma’s Chicken Soup
This classic chicken soup recipe proves that grandma knows best. According to studies, like the one done by the New York Times, chicken soup helps prevent the migration of neutrophils, which are white blood cells that help fight bacteria and viruses, many of which are catalysts for colds and flu. While it’s hard to say what exactly it is that makes this soup so effective, researchers speculate that it’s a combination of the chicken broth and vegetables working together.
Why we love it: This is the kind of soup that you’ll want to make all year round. Filled with fresh vegetables and tasty chicken, it’s also one of the easiest-to-make recipes on our list.
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup sweet potato, diced
3/4 cup turnip, diced
2 ribs organic celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups skinless, organic chicken, cooked and diced
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan, and add vegetables. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, until vegetables are tender. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
The goal, of course, of any cold flu season is to avoid getting sick altogether. So, even before you feel symptoms of those winter sniffles, be sure to make these soups part of your dinner rotation. You’ll love the taste – but you’ll love the immune-boosting value even more!
Do you have a favorite soup for the winter “blahs”? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!