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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Granny’s Chicken Soup For The Cure

By Sherrie Norris

Maybe our grandmothers were right, after all, especially about chicken soup being the “best medicine” for the common cold and flu.

There seems to be growing evidence to prove that ingesting the warm concoction really can help one recover from a cold or the flu. Apparently, there is an anti-inflammatory effect from eating chicken soup that makes people feel better.

However, a recent study I read also said that soup, in general, is not a cure-all for everyone. Individuals on low-salt diets, for example, should stay away from many canned soups that are high in sodium unless otherwise labeled.

There was also mention of the soup’s effect being therapeutic simply because of the added attention someone is getting when served a piping hot bowl of comfort.

Each of us can decide for ourselves what works, but the idea that chicken soup is good for you has been around for centuries. Whether emotionally or physically helpful, no one can argue that a good bowl of hot chicken soup sure tastes good on a cold winter’s day.

(While chicken soup was granny’s favorite remedy, we know that grandpa had one of his own that is also still used today!)

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1 box (6 oz.) long grain and wild rice mix prepared according to package directions

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cans chicken broth

½ tsp. dried tarragon, crushed

¼ tsp. dried thyme, crushed

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (can use low-fat version)

2 Tbs. cornstarch

2 Tbs. dry white wine, optional

Green onions and toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink. Add rice, broth and seasonings; bring to boil over medium-high heat.

Combine small amount of evaporated milk and cornstarch in small bowl; stir until smooth. Add to saucepan with remaining evaporated milk and wine.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until soup is thick. Garnish with green onions and almonds.


Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

3 cans low-sodium chicken broth

3 medium carrots, sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles

2 Tbs. parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except egg noodles, parsley, salt and pepper, in large pot. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender. Meanwhile, in another pot, cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse with hot water; drain. Stir hot cooked noodles into hot soup mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Simple Cream of Chicken Soup

6 Tbsp. butter

1/3 cup flour

½ cup milk

½ cup light cream

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup finely chopped chicken

Black pepper for seasoning

Melt butter in pan, blend in flour. Add milk, cream and broth. Cook and stir until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat. Stir in chicken and a dash of pepper. Serves 2-3. (Double as needed to feed more.)