I have been making this soup a lot these days. It is spicy, warming, and healing....just perfect to help kick this cold I've had. First I make a simple broth using bone-in chicken breasts, a bunch of chopped fresh ginger, a whole head of garlic, fresh lemongrass, and a few cups of chopped shiitake mushrooms. Once this has simmered for a few hours, I strain it and add fresh vegetables, the cooked chicken, and some thai rice noodles into the pot. We top each bowl with chopped napa cabbage, basil, and cilantro. And for the grown-ups only, sliced fresh thai chiles!
Shiitake mushrooms provide polysaccharides that stimulate white blood cell function allowing them to be more efficient at combatting bacteria and viruses. Ginger is healing on many fronts. It is anti-microbial, anti-viral, and a natural anti-biotic, killing bacteria and viruses both internally and externally. It can help sooth a sore throat, eliminate congestion, and help combat fevers and chills.
The soup itself is not too spicy and perfect for young children to eat. All of our children love this soup and have fun adding all of the toppings, except for the chiles. The broth is very nourishing and will have you feeling good almost immediately. I've been making double batches lately so I can have leftovers. Hot, clear foods are very beneficial for colds and upper respiratory infections. Try hot tea with ginger and lemon, warm quinoa porridge, or our Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup. Cold foods can increase congestion so it is best to avoid them until you are feeling better.
Healing Chicken Ginger Soup
My mom always made homemade chicken soup using a whole chicken when I was growing up. I've never made chicken soup using a store-bought chicken broth. Once you make soup this way, you'll never want to go back. The broth is just so fresh and delicious! If you would like to use a whole chicken for this soup instead of the two chicken breasts, simply double the ingredients for the broth and the soup and use an 8 or 12-quart pot instead. Be sure to add the rice noodles to each individual bowl if you plan to have leftovers. Adding them to the whole pot and then reheating the soup the next day can cause the noodles to get quite mushy. This soup also freezes very well, just don't add the noodles or the raw toppings to your freezable portions. Fresh Thai chilies and lemongrass can be found at places like Whole Foods or at your local Asian Market.
Yield: 6 servings
For the Broth:
2 bone-in organic chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
8 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 whole head garlic, cut in half cross-wise
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger (or more!)
2 to 3 thai chiles, chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
For the Soup:
1 medium onion, cut into crescent moons
3 to 4 stalks celery, sliced into diagonals
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 to 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
cooked chicken pulled from the bone and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh napa cabbage
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh thai green chiles
To make the broth, place all ingredients for broth into a 6-quart pot. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain broth into a large bowl or another pot using a colander. Place chicken breasts onto a plate to cool. Pour the broth back into the pot. Once chicken is cooled, remove the skin, pull the meat from the bone and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Place all of the veggies for the soup (onion, carrot, celery, and shiitake mushrooms) into the pot with the broth. Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer a minute or two more or until vegetables are cooked to your liking. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a handful of basil, cilantro, and cabbage on top. Sprinkle with thai chiles if desired. You can also add a handful of cooked thai rice noodles to each bowl if desired. Squeeze a little lime juice over each bowl. Make sure to have some tissues handy if you are using the thai chiles! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com
More Healing Recipes:
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Summer Vegetable Kitcheree
Soothing Tummy Tea
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