Folks are twittering, it's all over Facebook, it's all over town and I've got it. Stuffed nose and sore throat. Ugh! Not fun with deadlines looming. I remember a time when Grandma would move in with her homemade chicken soup and cure the entire household from the common cold. Ironically, studies show that Gram was right. Chicken soup really can help you get over a cold!
Those miserable symptoms of the cold usually include coughing, sneezing, and a stuffy nose. Actual university studies have proven ingredients in chicken soup have anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit certain white blood cells from traveling into airways that contribute to the inflammation that causes cold symptoms.
Chicken soup contains compounds that also help inhibit mucus production. In addition to the soup's anti-inflammatory effects, the heat and steam may help open nasal passages especially if you add some garlic or cayenne pepper! Always drink the broth, researchers determined most of the help comes from the liquid.
Here's Grandma's recipe:
3-4 lb stewing chicken
2 -3 qts water
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt, dash pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
2 cups noodles or 1/4 cup rice
Heat to boiling then simmer until meat is tender. Gram would simmer hers all day.
She also said you could always add lemon juice to "help cut a thick throat" or garlic for a stuffed up nose.
Grandam always thought ahead and would prepare batches of stock soup so she'd be ready at a moment's notice to aid her ailing family. In today's world, preparing ahead may also help the working mom.
Basic Chicken Stock
4-4 1/2 lbs chicken
2 large onions
3 carrots, leave skin on
1 leek, chopped
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
season with: parsley, thyme, marjoram or tarragon, bay leaf
Put chix and veggies in bottom of a large pot, cover w/ about 2" of water. Bring to boil over med heat. A foam will begin to appear on the surface; skim off the foam w/ a slotted spoon. When stock reaches boiling point, reduce heat to low, add seasonings,simmer uncovered for 4-5 hours. If liquids falls below the solids, top w/ cold water. At the end of simmering, gently ladle the stock through a stainer into a large or several containers (canning jars work best). Store in fridge or freezer.
If you wish to keep more than just the stock; simmer for only 2-3 hours the remove meat from bones, place with veggies and stock back into pot and simmer for another 2 hours. Gently ladle into jars.
These "jars of health" make great get-well gifts too!
So be sure to eat your chicken soup, drink plenty of fluids, and get lots of rest when you feel the symptoms of a cold coming on.
Yep... that's the key... chicken soup and a good nap...