Things I love that the monsoon brings with it: chilly nights that are perfect for cosying under warm blankets — a welcome respite from the heat, lush greenery, and much needed water. Things I hate? The flu and runny noses. Ugh! You too, right? Combat it with this hearty immunity boosting chicken soup | cold and flu-fighter chicken soup Indian style.
This hearty clear immunity boosting chicken soup will be your hero this monsoon and save you from all those pesky stuffy heads, colds and flus, sore throats and will also give your immunity a much needed boost. Oh, and it also fills you with so much warmth on those chilly evenings. Yes, it is a monsoon miracle!
This soup contains ingredients that are easily available in the Indian subcontinent and in my larder and refrigerator.
For ages, all over the world, our grandmothers and mothers have been giving their offspring this miracle worker to ward off colds and flus. It was no different in my household. As a child I loved that I got to drink the soup and dig into the chicken — not realising that it was the remedy (aka: medicine). Well our mothers and grandmothers do know better, don’t they? And modern medicine and science have proved them right.
Here are reasons why this immunity boosting chicken soup | cold and flu-fighter chicken soup Indian style should be your go-to soup, at the earliest sign of a sniffle:
- It gives your immune system that much needed boost with immune supporting minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon and sulphur in a yummy and easy to digest form for a weak body to absorb.
- The chicken bones and joint tissue, when cooked release gelatine, glucosamine and chondroitin help rebuild our own connective tissue and reduce inflammation. Glucosamine and gelatine also protect and heal our digestive tracts.
- This hero will also help alleviate congestion.
- There’s ginger, that creates heat in your body and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties — healing your body and reducing pain.
- There’s turmeric, highly antioxidant, reduces cold and flu symptoms and heals the body.
- There’s garlic contains allicin giving it anti-microbial properties.
- There’s pepper, the powerhouse that contains anti-inflammatory properties, minerals and vitamins, and improves digestion, and alleviates nasal and chest congestion
- The vegetables add phytonutrients that help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Extra healthy calories that provide the energy to fight off infection.
- And when your mum says it’ll fight off that cold, it also plays on your mind and makes you believe that it will. This faith and positivity helps too!
To get all of this goodness, ensure you get a whole chicken (chop it up at the shop or at home) — usually a smaller bird contains more skin, bone and connective tissue when compared to the meat on its bones. Throw in a few extra chicken necks, feet and wingettes for a more richer, aromatic and gelatinous mouthful.
Immunity Boosting Chicken Soup | Cold and Flu-Fighter Chicken Soup Indian Style
- 1 kg chicken
- 2 kohlrabis, chopped
- 4-5 potatoes, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons shredded ginger
- 2 tablespoons shredded garlic
- 5 medium onions or 3 big onions, sliced
- 25-30 curry leaves, or the leaves from 2-3 stems (keep the stems)
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro) fronds
- 5 curry tree stems
- 8-10 coriander stalks (the stems that gave you the fronds)
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, divided
- 2”x2 pieces of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3-4 cloves
- 1 cardamon (optional)
- Corn kernels from either half a big ear of corn or a full small ear of corn, boiled — cooked half way through
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Wash the chicken and soak it in a bath with a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder for 20 minutes, or until you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Roast the peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and the cumin and fennel seeds, and powder them with a mortar and pestles, or put them all in a 4-layer newspaper and beat them up with a hammer — the powder need not be fine.
- In a heavy-bottomed vessel or a pressure cooker (it’ll save you precious time), add the olive oil (medium heat).
- One it heats up, add the onions and curry leaves, and when the onions turn pink add the ginger and garlic paste. Allow it to fry for a minute.
- Now, add the chicken and tomatoes and toss them about for 5 minutes.
- Then toss in the remaining vegetables and stems. Add a litre of water (about 35 fluid ounces) and cover the vessel.
- In a pressure cooker, let it cook for 20 minutes; let the cooker stay locked until all of the steam escapes. In a heavy bottomed-vessel, leave it for longer — say about 50-60 minutes.
- Once you turn of the heat, let the soup sit in the vessel for a good 15 minutes before you serve it.
Serving: Serve a generous portion while it is hot — with two slices of toast if you like.
Will chicken soup really cure your cold? (BBC goodfood)
6 Amazing Black Pepper Benefits: More than Just a Spice (NDTV Smart Cooky)
Coriander has multiple health benefits (The Times of India)
11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger (healthline.com)
The health benefits of turmeric (BBC Good Food)
8 Health Benefits of Turmeric (Haldi): Getting Back to the Roots (NDTV Smart Cooky)