Chicken soup has long been claimed by mamas and grandmamas to be "good for what ails you." Just shows you how much we mamas really know! Not only is chicken soup the meal of choice when you are under the weather, this comforting soup has been proven to provide actual health benefits as well.
Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary medicine specialist and a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, put Mom and Grandmama's theory to the test. He actually took his wife's family recipe into his lab and "discovered" what we already knew--chicken soup slows cold symptoms. What he actually found was that chicken soup can inhibit inflammation of the cells in the nasal passage which reduces the symptoms of a cold. The results of the study were published in the International Journal Chest – the Cardioplumonary and Critical Care Journal. Rennard's research has been featured in thousands of newspaper, magazine and Internet articles, as well as on television and the radio throughout the world. If you want to check out Dr. Rennard's work and watch a video of his wife preparing her special soup while explaining the theory, go to this URL: http://www.unmc.edu/chickensoup/
Now, who would have thought you would learn a bit of medical science on "A Pinch of This... A Smidgen of That"? You just never know how smart you'll get by reading this blog! While chicken soup may not be a cure-all, it is a good source of nutrients that even mamas and grandmamas approve of! So, how about joining me in the kitchen as we gather our ingredients for "Comforting Chicken Soup"? (And, no, I'm sorry, it isn't in the cookbook. It will have to wait for the "second edition," but you can find the recipe at the end of this blog :-).
COMFORTING CHICKEN SOUP
1 whole fryer chicken, or 4 chicken breasts
1 large or 2 small onions, chopped
8 cups water
2 - 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
6 - 8 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 - 3 Tablespoons sugar
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon (that's 3 teaspoons) salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons California Garlic Salt or Powder
2 Chicken bullion cubes
Use a large Dutch oven to boil chicken in water until done. Remove from broth and debone. Chop or shred pieces.
I usually boil my chicken the night before and put the pot in the refrigerator so the fat solidifies and I can skim it off before making soup/stew the next day.
Dip off as much fat from the broth as possible.
Add diced potatoes, corn, onion, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic salt/powder, and bullion cubes to broth.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Use your spoon or a fork to mash a few of the potatoes on the side of the pot so they mix in and thicken the broth. Add chicken and simmer slowly for an additional ten minutes. Add butter and stir gently until melted. Serve with crackers or cornbread ... even better served as leftovers the second or third day!