When you are feeling under the weather and congestion has you in its grip, there is nothing quite as comforting as a warm bowl of chicken soup. This home remedy is not just a delicious comfort food, but also an antidote to cold and congestion.
A homemade chicken soup is a great choice to keep yourself hydrated, well-nourished and warm, even as it clears your congestion. “Chicken soup is rich in protein, and vitamins and minerals – B6, B9, B12, K, potassium, selenium, calcium, magnesium and copper,” says Srishti D Chatlani, a sports nutritionist from Bangalore. She emphasises adding garlic, ginger, and pepper for an extra kick of congestion-relieving power. It does this by thinning the mucus in the respiratory tract and the sinuses.
Several studies also suggest that chicken soup helps manage respiratory congestion from colds, coughs and sinusitis. A study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, potentially easing congestion.
A word of caution: While chicken soup can provide relief from symptoms of cold and congestion, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider.
In the meantime, we bring you a chicken noodle soup recipe as a tasty and nourishing way to help you feel better and breathe easier during the congestion.
Ingredients for chicken soup
- 100 g rice vermicelli noodles
- 2 tsp seed oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic and cloves, crushed
- 3-centimetre ginger piece, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 long fresh red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
- 1 stick of lemongrass, cut into 4 cm lengths, bruised
- 400 g of chicken, with some bones
- 250 g tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into finger sized length
- 150 g peas, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch baby bok choy, cut into finger sized lengths
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Fresh Thai basil leaves
Method for making chicken soup
- Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes and then drain.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and celery, stirring for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, chilli, and lemongrass. Stir for 1 minute or until aromatic.
- Add chicken. Cook for 1 minute or until it starts to colour. Add 250ml water.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken with tongs and transfer to a clean board. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Shred the chicken and put it back in the pan.
- Add tomatoes, broccoli, peas to soup. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Put in bok choy and stir until just wilted. Add lime juice and season.
- Put noodles and chicken in a bowl and ladle over the soup. Serve basil on top to garnish.
Nutritional values have been provided by Nutritionist Shristi D Chatlani.
- Energy – 85 kcal
- Fat – 2.2g
- Carbohydrates – 3.5g
- Fibre – 0.73g
- Protein – 16g
- Iron – 2mg
- Vitamin K – 11mcg
- Calcium – 1g
These nutritional values are per 100g.