Healing Chicken Soup

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Healing chicken soup has long been a go-to remedy for cold and flu season, and for good reason. It is not only delicious but also has some immune-boosting properties. When you add turmeric, garlic, and ginger to the mix, you get a powerhouse of nutrients that can help support your immune system and promote healing.

When combined with chicken and vegetables, these ingredients make a hearty and delicious soup that is perfect for cold weather. Not only does it taste great, but it can also help support your immune system and promote healing. So the next time you feel under the weather, try making a pot of healing chicken soup and see how it makes you feel!

Medicine Ball Chicken Soup recipe from the Salt & Sprinkles food blog

Craving more soup recipes? Chicken soup is perfect, any time of year. Try my Chicken Zoodle Soup made with zucchini noodles, Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup for a bit of a spicy kick, or this Dairy Free Creamy Chicken Soup for a cream-free option.

Why You’ll Love Healing Chicken Soup

  • It’s good for you. This recipe is packed with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric, and bone broth.
  • It’s easy to make. It’s a one-pot meal, which means fewer dishes to clean up.
  • You can make it how your family likes it. You can easily customize this recipe by using more or less of the ingredients your family loves.

Why is this called ‘healing’ soup?

Healing chicken soup is named because it’s full of all kinds of ingredients that are thought to have healing properties. Garlic and ginger have both antiviral and antibacterial properties and turmeric is known to help decrease inflammation in the body. And bone broth has an exceptionally high nutrient content, so it is believed to help when you’re sick as well.

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can weaken the immune system. By reducing inflammation, turmeric can help support a healthy immune response.

Garlic is another ingredient in chicken soup that can provide immune support. It contains a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Studies have shown that garlic can help reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu.

Ginger is also a great addition to chicken soup for its immune-boosting properties. It contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which can be common during cold and flu season.

Can chicken soup really heal me?

Many people attest that having a bowl of homemade chicken soup when their sick can help with a speedy recovery. While chicken soup may not be the sole cure of a cold or flu, it can definitely help alleviate some common symptoms. Congestion can be relieved because of the warmth of the soup, and many of the ingredients can help boost your immunity.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, plus more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of cayenne, for serving
  • Italian parsley, chopped for serving

How To Make

STEP ONE: In order to make medicine ball chicken soup, you’ll need to start by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken thighs. You might need to do this in batches to prevent steaming.

STEP TWO: Brown the chicken thighs on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Once they have browned, remove the chicken to a plate. Set aside.

STEP THREE: Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Saute the onions and celery for 5 minutes. 

STEP FOUR: Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. 

STEP FIVE: Add the chicken bone broth and bring it to a boil.

STEP SIX: Once the soup is boiling, add the browned chicken back to the pot. Cover, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

STEP SEVEN: Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it. Set aside.

STEP EIGHT: Add the lemon juice to the soup. Stir. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

STEP NINE: Divide the shredded chicken between bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish with cayenne and Italian parsley. Serve.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs.
  • Bone broth has a lot of healing properties, but you can also use chicken broth in this recipe.
  • Kosher salt will work in this recipe if you prefer, but Himalayan pink salt balances blood sugar and hormones and improves digestion. It’s worth buying some to add to this soup, especially if you’re feeling under the weather.

How to Peel and Store Ginger

I recommend using a microplane or zester for the ginger. You can first start by peeling the ginger root with either a vegetable peeler or a spoon. Once you peel it, you can use a microplane to add fresh ginger to soups and many other recipes. Once you are done grating the ginger, add it to a small Ziploc bag and pop it in the freezer. You’ll have fresh ginger to use any time you need it.

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can make healing chicken soup in a slow cooker. Here’s how:

Add all of the ingredients except for the lemon juice, cayenne, and Italian parsley to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. Shred the chicken thighs, and proceed with steps 8 & 9.

How to Store Leftovers

This soup will store in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. To reheat, place it in a pot on the store and warm over medium heat until hot through.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes! You can freeze this soup in portions to use for weeks to come. You can store it in freezer-safe Ziplocs or airtight containers. Just pull it out of the fridge before you want to use it and allow it to thaw in the fridge for a few hours. Head on the stove.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! This recipe is already gluten-free, as long as your broth doesn’t contain gluten.

FAQs

What vegetables can I add to chicken soup?

You can add other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or sweet potatoes to the soup for added nutrition and flavor.

Can I use dried ginger instead of fresh ginger?

I recommend you use fresh ginger because it will give you the best taste and also, it has more health benefits, but you can use dried ginger in a pinch.

Why is chicken soup so good when you’re sick?

The ingredients in chicken soup have lots of healing properties, especially one that uses fresh herbs and seasonings, like ginger. The steam can help open up your nasal passages, and the broth is hydrating and helps replace lost electrolytes.

Medicine Ball Chicken Soup overhead shot

Healing Chicken Soup

5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Healing chicken soup is an immune-boosting soup that tastes amazing. Made with turmeric, garlic, and ginger it's the perfect cold-weather soup. 

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt plus more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root peeled and finely minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Pinch of cayenne for serving
  • Italian parsley chopped for serving

Instructions

  • Sear the chicken thighs. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken thighs. You might need to do this in batches to prevent steaming. Brown the chicken thighs on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Once they have browned, remove the chicken to a plate. Set aside.
  • Cook the onions and celery. Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Saute the onions and celery for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. 
  • Bring the soup to a boil. Add the chicken bone broth and bring it to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, add the browned chicken back to the pot. Cover, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it using 2 forks. Set aside. Add the lemon juice to the soup. Stir. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve. Divide the shredded chicken between bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish with cayenne and Italian parsley.

Notes

  1. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs.
  2. I recommend using a Microplane/zester for the ginger.
  3. How to peel and store ginger: you can first start by peeling the ginger root with either a vegetable peeler or a spoon. Once you peel it, you can use a Microplane to add fresh ginger to soups and many other recipes. Once you are done grating the ginger, add it to a small Ziplock bag and pop it in the freezer. You’ll have fresh ginger to use any time you need it.
  4. Bone broth is recommended but chicken broth will work fine in this recipe.
  5. This soup will give your immune system a boost when you’re sick. With ingredients like garlic and ginger to help strengthen your immune system and fight infections. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
  6. You can use Kosher salt instead, however, Himalayan pink salt balances blood sugar and hormones and improves digestion. It’s worth buying some to add to this soup.
  7. This soup will store in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
  8. Slow cooker instructions: add all of the ingredients except for the lemon juice, cayenne, and Italian parsley to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. Shred the chicken thighs, and proceed with steps 7-9.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1166mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
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