We all know that you’re supposed to eat chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, right?
For generations moms have been feeding it to their youngin’s, but I think the real power and potency of the tradition has been lost. Every ancient tradition cooks the bones of their meat into stews and soups, knowing that whats inside the bone has far more nutrition than the muscle meat we have somehow replaced it with. Cambell’s Chicken Soup does not count.
Bone broth has been making a comeback in recent years, and rightfully so: its packed with vital minerals and nutrients that are perfect for boosting immunity when you’re sick or fighting illness through the long winter months.
So thats where we start: the broth.
I like a combination of beef and chicken bones in my broth, turkey, lamb or pork also work. I usually start by roasting 1-2 whole chickens with salt in the oven at 450 degrees over a bed of onions, carrots, celery and 2 whole heads of garlic. This will take between 45 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes depending on size. To check if your chicken is done, cut into where the thigh meets the breast, the thickest part of the bird and make sure the juices run clear. Alternately, check with a meat thermometer which should register 170 degrees.
Once the chicken is cooked, I put all of the veggies in the slow cooker, then serve the chicken for dinner and throw the bones in the pot and fill with water, a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (to extract the nutrients from the bones) and a beef knuckle bone. I let that cook on a low simmer for 1-3 days, adding more water as needed to stay full. You may need to skim the surface every so often for foam or weird unsavory bits.
COPIOUS AMOUNTS & KINDS OF VEGGIES
To make the soup, strain your broth into a large pot and add any combination of veggies you like: sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, squash, kale, chard, collard greens, fennel, peppers, mushrooms…you get the idea. I cook all but leafy greens together and add the leafy greens in just a couple minutes before serving to keep it green and perky.
There are 2 kinds of herbs: the hard ones and the soft ones. The hard ones like rosemary, thyme and sage can be chopped and added with the veggies for the whole cooking process. If you want to use soft herbs like parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano or tarragon, throw those in right at the end or garnish the top of the soup with it.
SUPER IMMUNITY ADDITIONS
A very essential part of this soup is copious amounts of fresh garlic, ginger, lemon and turmeric. If you absolutely can’t find fresh turmeric, you can use powdered, but its not the same. For a large pot of soup, I peel a whole head of garlic, a 3-4 inch piece of ginger and the same amount of turmeric and the peel from 2 lemons. Once peeled, I throw in the food processor and chop very fine. You will have about 1/3-1/2 cup in total, but you cannot have too much of these things in the soup. If you can handle more, by all means, add more. You can add this directly to the soup or steep for a couple hours in some hot broth or water and add in. I throw it directly into the soup because I don’t mind the little pieces and I don’t want to miss any of it. If you like it spicy, you can add cayenne pepper, which is also amazing for immunity.
I usually throw in the leftover roasted chicken to the soup, but you can put whatever kind of meat you like, or none at all.
OTHER TASTY ADDITIONS & SERVING
Once the soup is complete with added salt and pepper to your liking, I love to add fresh lemon juice, fresh soft herbs, and a couple scoops of additional gelatin and/or collagen (Vital Proteins is what I use). To my bowl I also add a tablespoon or so of grass fed butter or ghee to make it rich and a bit more filling. If you have it available, a dollop of homemade aioli and/or a fried/poached egg on top is also delicious.
If you’re someone who likes using essential oils, you could even add a couple drops of oregano, rosemary, lemon, orange, cinnamon, clove, thyme, fennel, or any of the edible oils that are good for immunity. If you do this, note that A DROP GOES A LONG WAY. Add 1 drop at a time and taste before adding more. You can ruin a pot of soup by adding more than a drop of oregano or rosemary because they’re so strong. Here’s the link for the oils I use. If you’re ingesting oils, I only recommend the DoTERRA or Young Living brands. They are a bit more expensive, but worth it.
I think it should go without saying, but when the germs see this soup coming, they run for the hills. You could eat this soup every meal and maybe live to 200 years old.
I HIGHLY recommend making a HUMUNGO pot, or even 2 pots when you’re feeling healthy and freezing in small portions so you have it ready to go for yourself and your family when sickness strikes. Better yet, at the very first sign of sore throat, tiredness or being around sick people, eat a bowl and you can avoid getting sick at all!