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Your "Get Well" Chicken Soup

Hi all! After a few days of dealing with a nasty head cold I'm ready to eat again! I've been craving chicken soup, but want something more interesting than the chicken noodle variety. What's your go-to feel better chicken soup recipe?

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  1. My rustic version of chicken soup includes premade chicken stock, slices of celery, carrots, turnips, roasted chicken pieces, fresh slice of ginger, 1 garlic clove, a few sprigs of fresh dill, salt & pepper. Since the chicken is already roasted and sliced I add that at the very end just to warm through. I also will run a pot of fine egg noodles to add to the individual soup bowls (not the pot). Feel better!

    4 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Tom kha ( and if you're getting it from a Thai restaurant, go ahead and get it a little spicier than usual, just to irradiate the old sinus cavity...and trust me, medium is pretty darn spicy), hot & sour chicken soup, or mulligatawny...you need some heat to clear your head. Tom kha is my all-time cure-all...very soothing for your sore throat, too. (Not too hard to make from scratch if you have an Asian market nearby...and if you're sick and want to take it easy, Lobo makes a more-than-adequate seasoning packet that works as a shortcut...it's saltier than homemade, but you can use slightly less of the packet than recommended in the instructions if salty bothers you).

      1. re: tonifi

        I second the hot and sour, my standby take-out for a congested head or chest.

        Therapeutic soup, however, is more effective if someone else makes it. Garrison Keillor has a touching story about being new to the big city and suffering from flu. The doctor tells him to stay in bed, and to come back in 3 days for a re-check. Afraid to call in sick to a new job, he drags himself to work. The second night, there is a knock on his door. A woman introduces herself as his neighbor across the hall, explains that she has heard him coughing as he walks down the hall, and presents him with a container of hot soup. Alone again, though he has little desire for food, he swallows a few spoonfuls, and begins to feel a little better. He eats a whole bowl, feeling his congestion clear. The next day, the doctor is amazed at his quick recovery. When he arrives back home later, he knocks on the neighbor's door and tells her how much the soup helped, asking her for the recipe so he can make it himself next time he is sick. She replies, "Oh, YOU can't make it - someone has to make it FOR you!"

        1. re: greygarious

          Love this.

          I second the hot and sour. Often available by delivery, and often spicy.

          1. re: greygarious

            What a great story, I will be repeating it next time I share.

            I always add lots of ginger and garlic (you will see it mentioned several times below) as I hear those are two medicinal must-haves. A lot of pepper or some hot sauce can't hurt either. And I usually put cavatelli in mine, one time that was all I had and it was a big hit!

      2. I’ve used grilled chicken thighs cut up into bite sized chunks, chicken stock, celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms and parsley with some added lemon juice served over orzo when I want a simple twist.

        I never add rice or pasta to my soups when I make a big batch as I freeze a portion of the soups and want the pasta to remain non-mushy.

        I usually will make the orzo/pasta/rice to order then put some in each bowl while plating and pour the soup over it…………..but that is just me.

        What about a thai twist?

        1. Chicken broth, ginger, lime, jalapeno, carrots, noodles. Cures what ails ya.

          1. I have two recommendations. One is a spicy tamarind and chili chicken soup made with leafy greens (sinampalukan). It's very satisfying when you are congested. The other is best for unsettled stomachs or when chewing is difficult, a very wet congee made from chicken, ginger and garlic chips (arroz caldo). Both are very simple and can easily be put together with minimal effort.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              Second the arroz caldo! Tradition for illness in my Filipino family. Lots of ginger, and I add fried garlic to the bowl just before eating. I eat this when I have the flu, a cold, or a stomach sickness. It always makes me feel loads better. Of course, someone else has to make it for you. I made it for myself once and it didn't do much for me.

              1. re: Moochoux

                I think I prefer tinola, which is even easier to make. For those unfamiliar with Filipino food, it is a simple chicken and ginger soup, with green papaya as a common ingredient.

                1. re: FoodPopulist

                  Tinola is delicious, but is a seasonal delicacy to me. I'll make it in the autumn after the pepper harvest so I can use the leaves off all my chili plants to flavor the soup.

            2. I make basically normal chicken soup (chicken, stock, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, egg noodles, etc). But then right at the end I had reckless amounts of dill and parsley. Super awesome. Both warming and refreshing at once.

              1 Reply
              1. re: luciaannek

                thank you for the recklessness with the herbs. ;) I am with you on that!