By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Feeling chilled or under the weather? This immune-boosting spicy chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered to help you eliminate sinus and lung congestion. It tastes great, too!
*Choose organic items whenever possible*
- 1 whole chicken or chicken parts (with bones)
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped
- 3-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 to 6 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (or use garlic flavored olive oil)
- Optional: 1 to 3 teaspoons of ginger root, peeled and minced
- 2 to 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or flavored olive oil + 2 to 4 Tbsp more for drizzling
- Fresh vegetables, chopped – any combination of bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans or kale
- Optional: minced jalapeño or habanero peppers (alternately, use jalapeño-garlic flavored olive oil to add spicy hot flavor)
- 2 to 4 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 to 4 tsp Italian herbs and spices (I like Vervana Italian Seasoning & Dipping Blend which also adds a kick of chili heat)
- Natural salt and peppers, to taste
- Optional fresh chopped herbs for garnish: rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley and/or cilantro
In a soup or large sauce pan, sauté chopped onion and a few tablespoons of olive oil on low-ish heat until translucent. For added flavor, try using basil or garlic olive oil! Add chopped carrots, celery and garlic, until partially cooked.
Add a small organic chicken or chicken parts, and at least enough filtered water to cover the chicken. Bring this mixture to a light boil, then simmer on low-ish heat for at least 45 minutes; if you have time, you can let it simmer for a few hours to create a really nourishing bone broth. Take the chicken out and let it cool, then remove the bones and skin, and return the meat back to the soup.
Add any beans or fresh vegetables like sliced green peppers or zucchini, as well as any hot peppers and/or ginger (if using) and continue simmering for 20 minutes or so. Add salt, pepper and Italian herb seasoning, to taste. Top with chopped fresh herbs of your choice and a drizzle of jalapeño-garlic flavored olive oil for a touch more heat!
Try experimenting with modest amounts of seasonings and spicy or pungent ingredients, then add more to taste. The hotter the soup is with volatile ingredients, the better it is as a cold-and flu-buster.
If you’re short on time or not feeling up to making chicken soup from scratch, try this Simple Chicken Soup Recipe – it’s made with boneless organic chicken and store-bought broth. Another way to make chicken soup is with leftover chicken, as I do in the video below – check it out!:
© Stephen Sinatra, M.D. All rights reserved.