My honey hasn’t been feeling very good lately.

That calls for some “Jewish Penicillin,” I believe: Chicken Soup.

“Holy good God that soup is good!” was his retort upon one simple slurp.

Thank goodness for that.

It pains me to see others hurting, suffering, ailing, and just not feeling good.  My heart aches and the nurturing Mama Bear inside me simply strives to nourish.

Without a doubt the aroma of sautéed onions and simmering stew on the stove would make anyone feel just a teeny tiny bit better.  But the smell of a healing chicken soup wafting through the airwaves of home can really do the trick.

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And, to support the beliefs I hold in the power of my home-cooked Chicken Soup to soothe the soul, science now proves it all to be true ~

Grandma was right, after all: Chicken soup is good for the cold, not just the soul.

Using an in-depth laboratory analysis of old-fashioned chicken soup, a team of medical researchers explored the science behind the broth’s reputation as salvation for the sniffly.

Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, found evidence the soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent a cold’s miserable side effects.

“My wife’s grandmother says that chicken soup is good for colds,” explains Rennard, whose findings were published in the current issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. “Just because your grandma said something doesn’t mean that it’s not true.”

Used in Ancient Times The idea that chicken soup, often dubbed the “Jewish penicillin,” has medicinal effects dates back to ancient times, but modern scientists have never fully deciphered the reasons.

Some doctors believe that the soup’s benefits are mainly psychosomatic, that it’s the ultimate comfort food. Others say the steaming hot soup clears congestion and provides the body with necessary hydration to flush out viral bugs.

Researchers believe colds are caused by viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. The body responds with inflammation, which triggers white blood cells to migrate to the area.

These bacteria-devouring cells, however, have little ability to kill off a virus, and as a side effect, stimulate the production of mucous, which may cause the traditional cold season symptoms of stuffy heads, coughs and sneezing.

In the lab, Rennard tested the ability of those white blood cells to migrate from one side of a chamber across a filter to the other side, as they normally do. In the presence of the chicken soup, however, he noted that fewer cells migrated to the other side of the chamber.

His theory is that some ingredient in the soup blocks or slows the amount of cells congregating in the lung area, possibly relieving the development of these cold symptoms.

After a few rounds of giant bowls of goodness, he’s now on the mend.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul

4 Tbs. Kerrygold butter
1 small yellow onion, diced 
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. frozen green peas (fresh are spectacular as well)
Sea salt and pepper
6 c. homemade chicken stock (or Imagine brand)
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
1 pkg. Capello’s Grain Free Fettuccini Noodles
Cups of love and oodles of joy

In a large stockpot, over medium heat, melt Kerrygold.  Add diced onion and cook until translucent.  Add carrots and peas, as well as salt and pepper.  Cook until soft.  Add stock and chicken thighs.  Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is completely cooked through.  Remove thighs and place in a separate bowl.  Using two forks, carefully shred the chicken thigh meat and then return to soup mixture.  Add noodles.  Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.  

Soothe the soul.  Consume.  Breathe in the the healing love and savor the joy.

Now that’s Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

2 thoughts on “Chicken Soup for the Soul

  1. The soup was nothing less than amazing. Almost good enough to get sick more often.

    1. Flattering, indeed, but I certainly HOPE NOT – after the fever and chills! How about Chicken Soup for the Healthy Soul next time?

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