Mom always said that chicken soup cured everything. In fact, for centuries, chicken soup has been considered a remedy—the Egyptian Jewish physician and philosopher Maimonides advised people to consume chicken soup for the relief of respiratory tract symptoms in his 12th century treatise.
Turns out, chicken soup’s healing effects may be backed up by modern science. One study suggested that a compound called carnosine, found in chicken soup and chicken breast, may help inhibit the proinflammatory conditions typically associated with the initial stages of viral infections and prevent the development of the common cold.
(Science nerds can read more here: https://exploreim.ucla.edu/wellness/an-inside-scoop-on-the-science-behind-chicken-soup-and-the-common-cold/)
Regardless of its health effects, chicken soup is a warming and delicious comfort food you can enjoy at home. Here’s a soup recipe that can be made in bulk and portioned out and stored in the freezer for leftovers later.
4 bone-in chickens (whole, thighs, legs — whatever is available)
1 gallon water
4 stalks celery
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta or any grain you have in the pantry
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, if available
Place all ingredients except lemon and rice in pot and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 4 to 5 hours.
Strain and reserve chicken meat for chicken salad.
Return broth to pot and add lemon and bring to simmer (at this point, you can divide in containers and freeze for later use or it will hold in the fridge for five days).
When ready to serve you can pour over your cooked grain or pasta.
If dill is available, it is a nice finishing herb.