I am sure most of us have grown up hearing the phrase “Not felling well? I’ll make you some chicken noodle soup”. As it turns out, there is more to this than it being just a mere wives’ tale after all. Research is now showing that there really are some medicinal qualities to eating chicken noodle soup, or chicken soup with vegetables, when you are feeling under the weather. There are many different versions of chicken soup around the world, and it seems like eating chicken soup is a universal remedy when feeling ill. No matter what other ingredients go into the soup, it almost always contains onions, garlic and carrots, as well as the chicken and the stock. According to Dr. Stephen Rennard, MD, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, eating some kind of a hot soup even with the minimal ingredients of chicken, onions, garlic, carrots and stock acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for the nasal cells, which reduces nasal congestion. Researchers cannot specifically identify the ingredient or ingredients in chicken soup that makes it so effective against fighting off colds and infections, but say it may just very well be the combination of the vegetables and the chicken working together that gives chicken soup its medicinal effectiveness. The chicken and chicken stock are both full of proteins and amino acids; one in particular, called cysteine, that help thin the mucus in the lungs, as well as aiding in building up weak muscles, which also helps to fight off infections and illness. With the addition of onions and garlic, both containing protein, calcium and sulphur, the swelling in the nasal cavities is reduced, which aids in combatting nasal congestion. By adding carrots, you are also adding Vitamin A, and that strengthens and increases the white blood cells, which in turn fight off infections. The more vegetable you add, the more healing properties of the soup. So next time you are feeling under the weather, you really should eat that chicken noodle soup that is offered to you. It really will help you feel better. Of course, you can eat chicken soup at any time, not just when you are sick.
I have been craving chicken noodle soup for awhile, and decided with it being excellent soup weather, now was the perfect time to make some chicken noodle soup. I love thick, chowdery soups, so I made a thick, creamy chicken noodle soup. It warmed me up from the inside out. No, it is not as healthy as a chicken noodle soup without the cream, but it sticks to the ribs more (unfortunately, in more ways than one) and is more of a meal with the addition of the cream.
Thick and Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
1 1/2-2 lbs chicken, cubed small
1 onions, diced fine
3 carrots, diced fine
3 celery stalks, diced fine
1-1 1/2 heaping TBSP garlic
6 cups chicken stock ( I made my own turkey stock and used that)
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb uncooked noodles of your choice (I used extra wide egg noodles)
3/4-1 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp each fresh thyme, oregano, sage – if fresh, chop fine
olive oil and butter for cooking
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Once you have the vegetables and chicken cut, coat the chicken in flour. Cook the chicken in a large pot in a combination of olive oil and butter. Cook until the chicken is cooked completely and is slightly browned.
Once the chicken is completely cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Add the vegetables, and more oil/butter if needed, and cook them until they are tender and the onions are translucent.
Once the vegetables are cooked, add the chicken, stock and seasonings. If you are using dried herbs, now is the time to add those too. If you are using fresh herbs, wait to add those later. Mix well and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Add the pasta, cream and fresh herbs if using, and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Adjust the seasonsings if necessary. Combine everything well. Ladle it up and enjoy.
It was a simple meal of just soup with warmed ciabiatta bread and wine. Every time I make a simple meal of soup, it always reminds me of my favorite picture that I grew up with. Granted, my soup and meal is not as humble as the meal in the picture, but it is a good reminder that sometimes simple is best.