Friday, June 4, 2010

Chicken Soup - Makes Us Good


I believe home cooking is best for the soul, even better when someone else makes it for you. But let's not get distracted here. Let's talk Chicken. The soup version is really good for you they say....

Chicken soup has been considered a curative since earliest recorded history. Ancient Egyptians used it as a remedy for the common cold. In the 10th century, the Babylonian Avicenna, known as “the Prince of Physicians,” recommended it. In the 12th century, the Jewish physician Maimonides wrote that chicken soup “is of benefit against chronic fevers…and also aids the cough,” recommending its “virtue in rectifying corrupted humors.” Maimonides seems to have regarded chicken soup as something of a cure-all, not only prescribing it for convalescents, but also for hemorrhoid sufferers (we can only speculate how it was used.

Studies are abundant. Dr. Stephan Rennard, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at University of Nebraska’s Medical Center and his colleagues researched the effect of chicken soup on inflammatory white blood cells, known as neutrophils. Rennard demonstrated that neutrophils showed less tendency to congregate — even while retaining all their capabilities of fighting germs — after he added samples of chicken soup to them. Even when the soup was diluted up to 200 times, it still had that effect. Rennard believes that chicken soup has these effects because of chicken soup’s combination of vitamins and nutrients.

and also I found that..."Just a small amount of chicken soup before dinner can go a long way, according to Duke University researchers. In fact, if you consume chicken soup as an appetizer, it can reduce the amount of food you eat by 20 percent. By eating fatty foods before dinner can reduces food intake." a study by Dr. D.D.Chen.

I've heard of “Jewish penicillin” with matzo balls, a German version with spaetzle, Greek with lemon and egg, Chinese with won tons, Vietnamese with lemongrass, Peruvian with potatoes, to an Italian version with pasta, chicken soups are found in cuisines worldwide and lastly the classic Tortilla soup. Recently, when I was in Colombia at a night club. They served every customer leaving the club, chicken soup consume in a small cup, to help sober people up. Amazing it worked!

There is something so special about homemade chicken soup that I love, and all the above reasons that I share this lovely recipe with you. All ingredients wherever possible- support local organic produce!


Ingredients:
4 quarts of water
4 pieces of chicken with skin and bones
4 large potatoes cubed or 8 of small fingerling potatoes
2 small zucchini round sliced.
3 medium organic carrots round sliced.
2 medium tomatoes cut in wedges.
1 large white onion chopped
1 clove of garlic 
cilantro for garnish
4 tablespoons of lemon.


Tsp of turmeric
Tsp of garlic powder
Tsp of oregano
Tsp of basil
Tsp of thyme
Tsp of rosemary
Tsp of cumin
Tsp of saffron
Tsp of pepper
Tsp of Salt *If you use sea salt, you will need to add more salt at the table*


Cooking instructions:
First in a large pot (8 Quarts) place chicken pieces and add water to cover chicken, filling pot a least half way. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, chicken should no longer be bleeding or pink. Next, skim the fat at the top of the water with a large spoon. This will get rid of excess fat not wanted, but still retain the good nutrients. Next lower heat to a simmer and add onion, potatoes, carrots. Once they have cooked for a good 20 minutes, add zucchini, tomatoes and garlic crushed and spices, and cook for another 20 minutes. Don't over cook or vegetables will be too soggy. Chicken can be separated from bone, or can be left for the eater to tackle at the table. When serving, I like to garnish with cilantro and some fresh squeezed lemon. Delicious.


Eat your soup & be well!