As long as you’ve planned ahead and obtained all the necessary ingredients, this chunky, Thai-inspired dish is the simplest soup you’ll ever make, and will come together in less than 30 minutes. Boasting six vegetables and four herbs, it provides a wealth of anti-inflammatory, cancer-protective and nutrients, and such gustatory pleasure you’ll forget you’re on a diet. Lastly, the chicken provides enough protein to help you feel full for hours. It can be replaced in this recipe by shrimps (I use peeled, raw, frozen shrimps sometimes; they’ll need to be defrosted and rinsed before you add them to the soup) or, for vegetarians, cubed tofu. Serves 4 (source).
Medicinal Properties of Chicken Soup:
Chicken soup has long been touted as a form of folk medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold and related conditions. In 2000, scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha studied the effect of chicken soup on the inflammatory response in vitro. They found that some components of the chicken soup inhibit neutrophil migration, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could hypothetically lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness. However, since these results have been obtained from purified cells (and directly applied), the diluted soup in vivo effect is debatable. The New York Times reviewed the University of Nebraska study, among others, in 2007 and concluded that “none of the research is conclusive, and it is not known whether the changes measured in the laboratory really have a meaningful effect on people with cold symptoms.”
It has also been shown that chicken soup contains the Amino acid cysteine, which is very similar to acetylcysteine, which is used by doctors for patients with bronchitis and other respiratory infections to help clear them.
Chicken noodle soup is long been called “Jewish Penicillin” because of its supposed helpful effects in treating various kinds of ailments (source).
Thai(ish) Chicken Soup
- 4 cups chicken broth ideally home-made
- 3 tbsp creamed lemongrass
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger finely grated
- 2 whole Carrots peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms stems removed and sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas trimmed
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 10 oz chicken breast cut into thin slices
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1-2 tsp siracha sauce
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup Scallions chopped
- Pour the chicken stock into a medium pot, and ginger and lemongrass and bring to a boil on medium high. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the spicy broth through a fine strainer into another pot to remove ginger and lemongrass fibers; discard these.
- Add carrots and simmer for 5 minutes, then add broccoli, mushrooms and sugar snap peas and cook another 3 minutes. Now add chicken (or shrimps, or tofu, whichever using), zucchini, coconut milk, lime juice, Siracha and fish sauce and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Now season to taste: You’re aiming for a balance between salty, spicy, sour, and sweet flavors. Start with salty, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough (1 tsp at a time). If too sour, add the sugar. If not spicy enough, add more Sriracha. Stir well and simmer until the zucchini are soft. Careful not to overcook, or the broccoli will turn khaki-colored.
- Ladle soup into bowls, top with cilantro and spring onions and serve immediately.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.