This immune-boosting soup is one that you should always have on hand. It’s the perfect cure when you have a cold, are battling the flu or simply need to warm up in the wintertime. This soup has so much going for it: shiitake mushrooms, turmeric, garlic and chicken bones, to name a few of the nutrient-rich ingredients. Each ingredient has a specific job to detox the body, regulate the immune system, lower inflammation, protect from aging and help prevent cancer.
Shiitake mushrooms are nutrition powerhouses. They have a little something called beta-glucans, which support the growth of good bacteria in the gut. When the gut is populated with good bacteria, your immune system is stronger and better able to handle whichever illness gets thrown your way. A study found that eating four ounces of shiitakes a day for four weeks enhanced immunity and reduced inflammation. In addition to that powerhouse ingredient, this healthy soup would not be complete without homemade bone broth; the chicken bones provide collagen and gelatin to the soup, which helps strengthen the gut lining. A strong gut lining aids digestion and prevents bad bacteria and viruses from getting in. So, yes, this is definitely a soup you want to batch cook ahead of time.
Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup
1 whole chicken (2-3 lbs) or 2-3 lbs of chicken bones
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bulb garlic (about 6 cloves)
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 ½ cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about 12 mushrooms)
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (or 2 tsp dried turmeric)
1 bunch of parsley
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp peppercorns
10 cups water
Few handfuls baby spinach (optional)
1. Place all the ingredients, except for the water, in a large pot.
2. Then, pour the water in the pot until almost everything is submerged, but do not overflow. You will likely use around 10 cups of water.
3. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer.
4. After about half an hour, skim the top of the soup with a wide slotted spoon to discard the scum that’s risen to the top.
5. Allow to simmer on low heat for minimum 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
6. Place the soup through a sieve to catch the veggies and chicken (you can use some of the extra chicken meat to make other delicious dishes). Place the sieve over top of another large pot for the broth to go into.
7. You can serve the soup as this nutrient-rich broth. Or, you can add the carrots, mushrooms and chicken meat back into the broth. You can also stir in some baby spinach if you’d like.
8. Store the soup in airtight jars, containers or sealed bags. Freeze them in individual portion sizes.
Looking for more nourishing winter dishes? Check out these 15 Best Vegan Soup and Stew Recipes and 15 Flavour-Packed Recipes to Boost Your Gut Health.