I make some form of a healing soup every time anyone says they feel they might be getting sick. So, last week when Steve was past the point of “almost” getting sick — I mean way into the multi-tissue phase of a cold, I brought out the big guns and made this healing slow cooker chicken soup.
Usually when I make chicken soup, I let it simmer on the stove and go about my business. This time, I just didn’t have the time to stay in, so I broke out the slow cooker. And let me tell you, not only is this soup delicious, but this healing slow cooker chicken soup really lives up to its name! Steve had a bowl that night for dinner, then another for breakfast (this surprised me because, although I would easily do this, I was shocked that he actually ate soup for breakfast), and then again for dinner. This stuff really is better than any cold medicine you can buy.
This is not you mother’s chicken soup. The broth is filled with garlic and ginger and scallions — a whole arsenal of germ and bacteria fighting warriors! I used lots of veggies (I even substituted turnips for potatoes), kicked it up with some Chinese herbs, and made it paleo-friendly by using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta.
This healing slow cooker chicken soup is so easy to make, so potent, and so delicious, you’ll never so back to your mother’s soup… ssshhhhh, don’t tell mama….
And, now that fall is just about here, you should also make my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup!
Here are some of the amazing things this soup does:
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.
GingerChinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).
Turnips are great for indigestion. They help relieve that horrible bloated feeling we all get sometimes and they reduce excess gas and diarrhea. Research shows that turnips contain a substance that may reduce your risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. These bulbous vegetables contain a good amount of vitamins B and C and they provide calcium and potassium, and they can help your cough. In Chinese medicine turnips (wu jing) are known to help reduce inflammation and phlegm.
Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.
Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.
- 2-1/2 lb. bone-in, organic chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
- 1 qt chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 turnips, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick slices
- 3 large (or 6 smaller) garlic cloves, smashed
- 5 slices of peeled ginger (about ¼-inch thick)
- 3 scallions, sliced (add the roots of the scallions too)
- 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped (use more if you like)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups zucchini noodles (use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, or buy them pre- "zoodled")
- Add all ingredients, except zucchini, to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and remove the meat from the bones.
- Discard the bones and add the chicken back into the soup.
- Add zucchini and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and let the healing begin.