Flu-fighting soup

Let’s talk about all the things in this soup that help get us back on our feet

  • Turmeric: yes, turmeric! This is an ingredient that even the slow cooker version of this soup had. I grew up in a family that used turmeric in a lot of different foods — before it was trendy! Turmeric is often used in curry dishes and such but it adds a nice kick of antioxidants and it naturally anti-inflammatory so you can kiss that congestion goodbye!
  • Garlic: If you’ve cooked one or more things from this blog, you know that we LOVE garlic! And although garlic may not be an ingredient used commonly in chicken noodle, it’s something I always use as it helps regulate the guts flora which then helps rid the body of bacteria or viruses.
  • Carrots and Onions: the beta-carotene in carrots help combat respiratory infections. The onions aid in riding the body of viruses. Some people believe leaving 1/2 an onion in each room of the house while you have the flu can help get rid of the virus entirely! I don’t know if it’s true, nor am I willing to let my house smell like a blooming onion. But adding it to soup, that’s easy enough.
  • Chicken soup: Okay, so remember when mama told you that chicken soup would help get you back on your feet? Well, that warm broth isn’t just for soothing your sore throat! It’s a vitamin-loaded elixir for the body. Sweet golden goodness!

 

I didn’t have too much in the fridge when we got back. A few sad carrots, a bunch of neglected, slightly limp celery, a lemon desperate to be used, and a few onions in the pantry. Speaking of, have you ever added lemon zest or lemon juice to your chicken noodle soup? It helps achieve the most incredible flavor and cuts some of the richness of the chicken broth. You’ve got to try it if you haven’t already.

Luckily for me, I made loads of homemade chicken broth before we left and somewhere way in the back of the freezer was some precooked shredded chicken, and that’s how I whipped up a flu-fighting chicken noodle soup in no time. Of course, you can always use store-bought chicken broth and a rotisserie chicken too. I’m fully on board with the shortcuts, especially when you’re the one under the weather.

The steps for this soup are the same as any other chicken noodle soup you may have made in the past. You start with a little oil and saute the veggies before adding the spices and chicken broth. For the spices, I’m using a heaping tablespoon of Mrs. Dash’s Original Seasoning Blend (affiliate link), or whats called the 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s. Have you ever tried that stuff? It’s so good on almost anything! The seasoning has things like dried lemon and orange peel, black pepper, cumin, coriander and so much more. It’ll help amp up the flavor of our otherwise retro chicken soup and bring it right into this century.

All we need:

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced, skins left on
  • 1 punnet of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of goji berries
  • vegetable stock, to cover
  • salt and black pepper

Directions

Put the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens.

Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms to the pan along with the goji berries. Stir well, then add enough vegetable stock to cover all the ingredients. Simmer well for 10–15 minutes, until the potato is soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully add the soup to a jug blender in batches, and blend into a smooth, vivid orange, spicy soup.

‘Don’t be put off by the goji berries,’ says Dale Pinnock, aka The Medicinal Chef. ‘These sweet treats were once hard to find, and cost the earth, but thankfully they can now be found cheaply in any supermarket.’