NotYourGrandmothersColdFluChickenSoupHomemade chicken soup has been clinically proven to be therapeutic, particularly when it’s made with love. This particular chicken soup recipe helps clear lungs and noses while making most everyone feel better.

It contains fairly large amounts of powerhouse spices including a large amount of garlic, so not breathing on family or friends is a good idea for those eating this soup. And, please try to not breathe on anyone if you are affected with this year’s mean, miserable, nasty cold or flu bug.

Ingredients for four health-restoring servings
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 generous teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, if available (remove before serving and add one fresh sprig to the serving plate because it’s pretty to look at and the scent is fabulous)
10 to 12 large cloves finely chopped garlic, or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron threads, or to taste
1 or 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon natural sea salt (you need the minerals it includes)
1 quart good quality chicken broth, plus two cups water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 16 oz. can white cannellini beans
1/2 cup slivered carrots, if available
juice of 4 fresh lemons or limes

Put all ingredients in soup pot and bring to boil, turn to low for 12 to 14 minutes and add lemon or lime juice just before serving.

Nutritional information
This soup includes about 250 calories per serving.

The chicken is included for flavor and much-needed protein. The beans, carrots and sun-dried tomatoes are included for fiber to help clean the digestive system of cold and flu bugs. The fresh lemon or lime is a great natural source of vitamin C.

Rosemary has many culinary, medicinal and aromatherapy uses. We recommend growing it in your garden and keeping a pot in a window all winter if possible. Both fresh and dried rosemary contains anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties (sniffing rosemary essential oil also helps clear the “brain fog” often associated with colds and flu).

Saffron is one of the most highly prized spices. It is the dried stigma. or threads, of the flower of the spring crocus plant. It includes an entire host of vitamins and minerals and has anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant and antioxidant properties, while acting as an immune system modulator. As far back as Hippocrates, saffron was used as a medical treatment for coughs, colds and stomach ailments. It’s also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Garlic has been used for more than 5,000 years as a medicinal food to fight off illness including colds and flu. Washington State University has confirmed that garlic can be more effective than pharmaceutical antibiotics in fighting off certain common bacteria, and it helps detoxify our bodies because the multiple sulfur-containing compounds stimulate liver enzymes that are necessary for a healthy detox process.

Crushed hot red peppers contain capsaicin, which has been used for centuries to reduce painful symptoms of colds and flu. Capsaicin is rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. It helps relieve congestion and open up blocked sinuses because mucous thins and liquefies when we consume capsaicin from hot red peppers.  It also boosts immune system function and lowers body temperature by stimulating sweat glands.

The amounts of spices included in this recipe would not be appropriate for those who think they don’t like or can’t tolerate spicy foods. However, man or woman-up and include as much as you can because this chicken soup is almost guaranteed to make everyone feel better. We recommend making enough for four to eight servings.

Continuing eating or serving small amounts until you or your patient starts to feel better. If you are making this for a child, absolutely adjust the spices accordingly.

No doubt, it’s also good as a preventive meal or two when you think you’ve  been exposed to this season’s cold or flu bug.

Serve hot with rice or regular crackers and plenty of cool liquids, preferably on a beautiful tray with a lovely fresh flower or two and a soft cloth napkin.

Ellen Troyer and the Biosyntrx staff