When the cold weather rolls around I want to eat soup. I think I just want to put something warm inside me, and it always make me feel better, especially if I am not feeling well. And for past two weeks, I have been sick. I didn't have the energy to make soup for myself, but a wonderful angel named Victoria, came to my house and made me delicious chicken soup.
I enjoyed that soup for lunch and dinner for a couple of days, and low and behold, I got better! I recently read that a pediatrician said that to treat colds. chicken soup may be a better choice than over-the-counter cough or cold medicines. As it turns out a handful of scientific studies show that chicken soup really could have medicinal value.
The most widely cited of these studies, published in the medical journal Chest in 2000, is by Dr. Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He conducted laboratory tests to determine why chicken soup might help colds, beginning with is wife's homemade recipe, handed down by her Lithuanian grandmother. Using blood samples from volunteers, he showed that the soup inhibited the movement of neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cell that defends against infection. Dr. Rennard theorizes that by inhibiting the migration of these infection-fighting cells in the body, chicken soup essentially helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms.
I don't think we need any more convincing. Chicken soup works to keep us healthy, and if we do get sick it helps us fight the infection.
I didn't have a Lithuanian grandmother, but my mother was a wonderful cook who passed down this recipe to me. I know this soup will help you stay healthy all winter.
CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes Serves 6
2 Tbsp.. canola oil or olive oil 2 bay leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped 1 Tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 large garlic cloves, minced 3/4 Tsp. dried tarragon leaves
2 celery stalks, chopped 1/4 Tsp. ground celery seed
10 cups chicken stock Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 medium parsnip, peeled, trimmed, and cut into small chunks
1 medium turnip, peeled, trimmed, and cut into small chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. bone-in chicken breasts
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white or brown rice
salt to taste
1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil, then add the onion, garlic, and celery. Saute' for 3 minutes or until onion is soft. Add all the remaining ingredients except chicken and rice.
2. Bring soup to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer about 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer an additional 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.
3. Remove the soup from the heat. With a large shallow spoon, skim fat from top and discard. Remove chicken breasts and set aside. Remove bay leaves and discard.
4. Return soup to heat. Add rice and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
5. Meanwhile remove the chicken from the bone and cut into small pieces. When rice is tender, return chicken meat to pot. Add salt to taste.
This recipe is from my cookbook,, Table Talk. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious soup.