Chicken noodle soup has a long-standing reputation for providing warmth and comfort. Its fame in offering soothing respite during colds and flu season is known to many, dating back to the twelfth century in Europe when it was believed to help combat symptoms of respiratory illness. However, it’s important to remember that this beloved remedy owes much of its efficacy to homemade versions, packed with fresh ingredients and healing spices. This article explores the benefits of homemade chicken noodle soup, uncovering its health secrets and examining how it helps combat colds and flu.
In terms of nutritional content, homemade chicken noodle soup emerges superior compared to store-bought variants. High in protein from chicken, carbohydrates from noodles, and a medley of vitamins and minerals from vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, homemade chicken soup is nutritionally dense. Its homemade aspect allows for the adjustment of salt and sugar content to healthier levels. Importantly, making soup at home eliminates harmful preservatives and artificial flavors often found in canned or pre-packaged options.
An important benefit of homemade chicken noodle soup is its hydrating property. Colds and flu often cause dehydration, resulting from excessive sweating, runny noses, or fever. Soup being primarily liquid-based, aids in restoring lost fluids, preventing dehydration, and helps to thin the mucus build-up that is commonly associated with colds and flu.
Moreover, the warmth of the soup can relieve nasal congestion, similar to how a hot shower or steam might. The steam from a hot bowl of soup helps open up congested sinuses, reducing stuffiness, and making breathing easier. Therefore, chicken noodle soup provides not only nutritive value but also a soothing palliative effect.
Chicken, the core ingredient, is a rich source of protein. When sick, the body’s protein requirement increases as it needs more energy to fight off the virus or bacteria causing the illness. Protein helps build antibodies that strengthen the immune system, essential for quick recovery.
Among the array of ingredients in homemade chicken noodle soup, certain components stand out for their healing prowess. Carrots, celery, and onions provide important vitamins and antioxidants that boost the immune system, reducing the duration of colds and flu. For instance, carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A. This vitamin aids the health and function of the immune cells in the mucus membranes – the body’s first line of defense against invading pathogens. Similarly, onions and garlic possess strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, bolstering the body’s defense mechanism against flu and colds.
It’s also essential to note the psychological comfort and placebo effect associated with homemade chicken noodle soup. Cultural traditions and the memory of care from loved ones contribute to the sense of well-being when consuming this beloved home remedy, triggering positive psychological responses that may help to reduce symptoms.
Beyond mere sustenance, homemade chicken noodle soup becomes therapeutic. In conclusion, the comforting warmth, wholesome nutrition, and added love in a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup is a delicious way of combating colds and flu. Whether it’s a traditional family recipe passed down through generations or a new experiment with flavors, each bowl provides not just food but medicine in its purest form. Thus, in the battle against seasonal sickness, the humble homemade chicken noodle soup is not to be overlooked.
Recipe for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1. Whole Chicken: 1 (approximately 3-4 lbs)
2. Carrots: 3 large, chopped into large chunks
3. Celery Stalks: 3 large, chopped into large chunks
4. Onion: 1 large, roughly chopped
5. Garlic Cloves: 3, peeled
6. Bay Leaves: 2
7. Fresh Thyme Sprigs: 3
8. Salt: 1 teaspoon
9. Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
10. Chicken Stock or Water: 8 cups
11. Wide Egg Noodles: 2 cups
12. Parsley: A handful, chopped for garnish
13. Lemon Juice: From 1 lemon
1. Freshly Ground Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
2. Dried Rosemary: 1/2 teaspoon
3. Dried Oregano: 1/2 teaspoon
4. Ground Turmeric: 1/4 teaspoon
1. Begin by placing your whole chicken into a large pot, along with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Season it all with salt, pepper and add your other spices – black pepper, dried rosemary, dried oregano, and turmeric.
2. Pour over the chicken stock or water. It should be enough to fully cover the chicken. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce it down to a simmer and let it cook for around 2-3 hours. You can cover the pot, leaving it slightly ajar to let out steam.
3. Once cooked, remove the chicken and let it cool down. Strain your broth to remove the vegetables and herbs. They’ve done their job infusing the broth with flavor. You can either discard them or blend and add them back to the soup for more texture.
4. When the chicken has cooled down enough, shred it into bite-size pieces discarding the skin and bones.
5. Return the shredded chicken to your pot of broth. Also add in the egg noodles. Let this simmer until the noodles are cooked, around 15 minutes.
6. Taste your soup and adjust the seasoning with extra salt or spices if needed. Before serving, stir through the lemon juice and garnish with chopped parsley.
Enjoy your homemade chicken noodle soup hot. The spices added will make your soup rich and flavorful. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. This soup is perfect to warm you up during cold days, and it also works wonders when you have a cold or the flu!