That Time of Year
Whelp, cold and flu season is upon us. On top of the lingering pandemic, there’s no better time to make chicken soup. Indeed, my daughters have succumbed to the common cold, and I woke up this morning feeling sneezy and itchy-nosed. My husband is holding out so far, but we will see if he is taken by the cold as well.
Chicken soup to the rescue. It’s not just an old wives tale, chicken soup is actually restorative and healing when you have a respiratory illness. I like to load mine up with garlic and onions, which are also healing. And, when made in the Instant Pot, this soup is a breeze to make.
Chicken soup has many cold fighting ingredients. The broth that forms when a whole chicken is poached is packed with nutrients, such as essential vitamins, antioxidants, selenium, protein, and vitamin D. Chicken broth aids in keeping you hydrated as well as clearing nasal passages.
Garlic and onions contain compounds that are excellent at fighting viruses. Celery is anti-inflammatory, provides fiber, and helps with digestion, which supports the body’s healing process as it fights viruses. Carrots also contain vitamins that help support robust health.
I like to serve this soup on it’s own, maybe with a side of sourdough bread. Soaked brown or wild rice is another healthy grain option to add. When you’re sick it is especially important to avoid refined and processed carbohydrates. Therefore, it’s best not to add noodles to this chicken soup, even though it’s a popular addition in other chicken soup recipes.
Feel free to save the bones from the chicken to make Almost Free Bone Broth for future recipes. You can use broth in other types of soup, to simmer dried beans, and even to make kale.
Other Healing Soups
- Gut Healing Soup with vegetables and chicken thighs
- Vibrantly green Kale Potato Soup
- Rosemary Kale Soup is intensely flavored and perfect for the autumn season
Let me know if you get the sniffles and try this From Scratch Chicken Soup. It is sure to make you feel better, and it can even keep you healthy to boost your immune system against getting sick in the first place.
From Scratch Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot
- 5-6 lb. whole, organic chicken
- 3 onions divided
- 5 stalks celery divided
- 3 large carrots divided
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- parsley, to garnish
- Place whole chicken into Instant Pot. Add 1 quartered onion, 2 stalks celery, and 1 whole carrot (broken up as needed to fit). Add apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and filtered water. Choose manual and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, making sure vent is set to "sealing." Let pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the remaining soup ingredients. Chop 2 onions, 2 peeled large carrots, and 3 stalks celery. Mince 4 garlic cloves.
- After pressure has released from Instant Pot for 20 minutes, you may release it manually, being careful of the steam. Remove chicken and let cool slightly. Remove cooked vegetables from Instant Pot and discard. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer. You should have about 8 cups.
- Remove meat from chicken and shred, using your hands or a mixer. In the now empty Instant Pot, choose "sauté" and sauté prepared onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add 4 cups of shredded chicken and 6 cups of broth. (You will have extra broth and chicken, which you can freeze for future recipes). Stir and warm through. Taste and add extra salt, pepper, and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar if necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley.