I’ve always wondered if eating chicken soup to help get over the flu was really just an old wives’ tale. What’s so special about chicken, veggies and a bit of broth, anyway? Well, it turns out, chicken broth it pretty amazing! But that’s only part of the story. What the broth is seasoned with while it simmers is equally important.
This flu fighting chicken soup recipe includes three star ingredients: ginger, lemongrass, and star anise. These ingredients are great at supporting the immune system, reducing fevers, and destroying viruses. Ginger reduces nausea, fights inflammation, and aids immunity, and lemongrass is traditionally used as a tea to reduce fevers.
Star anise has incredible antiviral properties, and accelerates recovery from viruses. It’s healing power has even been recognized by pharmaceuticals, and they have used this spice as a key component in antiviral medications. This might just be why my grandma never made chicken soup without it!
The nutrients found in bone broth are also incredible at boosting the immune system, halting the spread of infection within the body, and reducing inflammation. Not to mention that it is one of the easiest foods to digest, so it won’t strain your digestive system while your body is fighting a flu or cold.
Flu Fighting Chicken Soup
Prep time: 1/2 hour
Cook time: about 1 1/2 hours
Serves: 4 – 6
Ingredients for the Broth
3 quarts/ liters chicken broth (homemade or quality store-bought)
1/2 medium white or yellow onion
1-2 cloves garlic
2 inches (5 cm) fresh ginger root
1 stalk lemongrass
3 whole star anise
Ingredients for the Soup
3 quarts / liters infused chicken broth (see above)
4 medium carrots, peeled
4 celery stalks
1/2 bunch kale, about 4 large leaves (optional)
1/2 cup uncooked white rice, or 1 cup uncooked rice pasta (optional)
1/2 roast chicken, or two cooked chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour chicken broth into a dutch oven pot and heat over medium high until simmering; reduce heat to medium.
2. Roughly chop half an onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass, and add to the stock, along with the star anise.
3. Allow vegetables and spices to gently simmer in the stock for at least half an hour.
4. Dice carrots, celery, the other half of the onion, and kale if using.
5. Remove simmered onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and star anise from the broth, and add the diced carrots, celery, and onion.
6. Allow to simmer for another half hour.
7. If using, rinse the uncooked rice, and add it to the broth; or add the uncooked pasta. Allow to it to simmer until cooked.
8. Dice the chicken, and add to the soup; add chopped kale if using, and turn heat to low to keep warm until serving.
9. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
10. Eat lots of soup, get lots of rest, and drink lots of water, and get better soon!!