Mothers have been whipping up chicken soup to treat colds for generations. Is this just an old wives’ tale? Not according to a study that appeared in the Chest Journal. The researchers found that eating chicken soup may indeed help reduce upper respiratory symptoms. Researchers aren’t quite sure why chicken soup clears up stuffy noses, but they hypothesize that it may have to do with the combination of healthy ingredients: chicken, vegetables and broth. Chicken is an important source of protein, which improves immunity, and vegetables are packed with free radical and disease-fighting antioxidants.
The health benefits of chicken broth aren’t too shabby, either. Broth protects your gut and joints, improves sleep, builds stronger bones, boosts immunity and even potentially strengthens the collagen in your skin. Chicken bone broth is made by simmering chicken and bones for a prolonged period of time (often more than 24 hours), and this extra cooking time causes collagen to leach out of the chicken bones. Experts theorize that ingesting the collagen in the broth can give the collagen in our skin a helping hand, increasing skin firmness and elasticity.
This chicken and vegetable soup recipe combines chicken with navy beans and vegetables like cabbage, green beans, spinach and zucchini and herbaceous pesto for a hearty, healthy meal that will not only help cure your cough, but maybe even smooth the appearance of your wrinkles too.
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups shredded savoy cabbage
- 1 cup green beans, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 cup canned navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cups chicken broth, add more as desired
- 1 cup shredded fresh spinach
- Saute onions, garlic, parsley and olive oil over medium heat until softened.
- Add cabbage and cook until softened.
- Transfer to a soup pot. Add green beans, celery, navy beans, tomatoes, zucchini, broth and chicken.
- Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. Keep the lid on to preserve flavor and to avoid losing nutrients in the steam.
- Add spinach and cook on low heat for another minute.
- Ladle into bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon of pesto.
Yield: 8 servings.