From experience, I can tell you it was probably the worst thing that’s hit me in at least 20 years. Fever, chills, and ugh, that body ache! Yeah, mommy was down for the count. Oh, did I mention that my husband and kids all had it at the same time I did… yes, that was a fun weekend.
Even though the Tylenol, Motrin, Robistussin and Kleenex helped with some of our symptoms, the only thing that did make us truly feel better was chicken noodle soup… and it’s no surprise. There’s actually scientific proof that chicken noodle soup actually does help you when you’ve got a cold or flu.
I’m going to tell you the trick with making this soup. While boxed chicken broth is my friend and I use it very often when cooking… when I make this soup when we are sick I use a whole chicken! It’s the only way friends… it may even be a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with it, but trust me, you get the most flavor and everything that chicken can give you to get you back healthy again! (and the meat just falls off the bone) Don’t short change yourself.
Mommy’s Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Whole Chicken
2 Cups Diced Carrots
2 Cups Diced Celery
1 Cup Diced Onion or Leek
2 Cups Chopped Spinach
¼ Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
¼ Tsp. Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp. Dried Crushed Mint
Salt & Pepper
¾ Bag of wide noodles (or thin)
In a large stock pot, fill with cold water. Add your whole chicken (throw away the gizzards & the cute little package it comes with removed from the inside) Add the bay leaf a little salt for seasoning, then the carrots, celery, onion & pepper. Bring to a boil & then reduce to a medium simmer for 2 hours. Yes, that’s right… 2 hours. After 2 hours, get out your big spoon or a scooper and remove that chicken from the pot. It’s going to be falling off the bone and into a million pieces. Have a big bowl to set it in… set aside to cool a bit. Remove the bay leaf as well. Discard.
You now have a glorious chicken broth that is flavored to perfection!
Add your remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes. While all that’s going on… go on over to your chicken and remove the skin- discard… and shred the chicken meat and throw it back in there! It’s already cooked, so just heat it back up!
Pour yourself a big bowl and get well soon!!!
According to FYILiving:
The steam from a bowl of soup (or a cup of hot tea for that matter) can assist in opening up clogged nostrils, and if you’re all stuffed up, this is good!
Chicken is a great source of protein which we especially need as appetites naturally wane when ill. Low protein intake can decrease immune system function, and a soup is an easy way to get some calories and protein. If you don’t like the actual meat, (like me) some of the protein is extracted into the broth during the cooking process too, so just sipping the liquid is still helpful.
Most chicken soup recipes include carrots, celery and onions at the very least. If you’re making your own chicken soup, throw in any hearty vegetables that you’ve got in your kitchen or freezer. Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, beans and peas are all healthy soup additions. Also, the heartier greens, like Swiss chard, kale or collards work well in soups as well. The more vegetables in any soup, the better. Vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals that mean more antioxidants to fight off that cold. Frozen varieties are just fine, too. They are frozen at their peak freshness, meaning nutrient content is preserved.
Maintaining adequate hydration is also important when you’re not feeling well. Fluids also help to thin out mucus and decrease congestion so drinking your usual 2 liters/day is essential.
So if the flu comes after you this season… fight back!!! Hopefully it won’t and you’ll just be enjoying this soup on a cold winter’s night! Stay healthy friends, cause when the mommy ship goes down, all hell will break loose on board!
xo Michelle xo