So, you’ve got leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in your freezer, but no homemade stock and your taste buds are crying out for soup. This happens routinely at Chez Carr. So when I desperately want turkey soup, I cheat! Yep, that’s just what I do!
I start with chicken or turkey broth, then add a bunch of common ingredients, and next thing you know, I’m sitting down to a lovely steaming bowl of goodness. Healthy too!
According to Donna Clarke writing for Health Guide Info, and I quote, “There’s nothing like a soothing bowl of hot chicken soup to cure what ails you. Grandma was right, it’s the best thing for that nasty cold! But what about turkey soup? Why does chicken soup make us feel so much better? Can turkey soup offer the same powerful punch?
We’ve all been there – wrapped in a blanket with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, aches…the works. The only thing that seems to sooth and comfort is a hot delicious bowl of chicken soup, with chunks of chicken, carrots, fresh dill, and onion, the aroma fills the entire room. Homemade or canned, it just seems to make everything better. But, did you ever wonder why? What is the secret our grandmothers all seemed to know? What is the mystery contained within this wondrous food? Why does chicken soup seem to be the perfect food to help cure what ails us? And what about turkey soup? Can turkey soup offer the same benefit?
The idea of consuming a hot bowl of chicken soup for the medicinal qualities it possesses dates back to the 12th century when Rabbi Moses Maimonides prescribed it to his patients. Since then, it has been offered to individuals ailing from a wide variety of maladies from congestion to the flu. Amazingly, this simple yet flavorful soup has been the subject of controversy with respect to its healing ability. But is it myth or medicine, fact or fiction?
Can chicken soup really offer relief for the common cold? Dr. Stephen Rennard at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, sought to solve this mystery. He conducted a series of tests adding chicken soup to neutrophils – the white blood cells. His findings were published in 1999 in the American College of Chest Physicians. He concluded that chicken soup did in fact help to inhibit the movement of these neutrophils, determining that chicken soup has a definite anti-inflammatory effect, causing a reduction of chest congestion!
The exact cause of this benefit is still a mystery, but one thing is certain, the nutritional values found in chicken soup are undeniable. Loaded with protein, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin K, potassium, and phosphorus, the ingredients contained in this fabulous soup offer a definite benefit when struggling with the common cold. If you are making homemade, be sure to include these ingredients as a base:
chicken: hot chicken broth vapors can help thin out mucus due to the presence of cysteine, an amino acid
onions: onions contain quercetin, also helpful in thinning out mucus, as well as act as an anti-inflammatory
carrots: these yummy vegetables provide an excellent source of vitamin A
parsnip: in addition to adding a delicious flavor, parsnip provides a good source of potassium
Other ingredients such as dill, celery, mushrooms, and even brown rice or whole grain pasta can be added for even more benefit!
But How About Turkey Soup?
The benefit of turkey soup is the same as chicken soup. Plus, with turkey soup, you have the added benefit of tryptophan (an amino acid) to help calm and sooth, providing the perfect relief for that day when you need the warmth and comfort only hot soup can provide.”
So I say – what are you waiting for? Dig that package of almost forgotten turkey out of the back of your freezer, and help gird yourself against a nasty winter cold or even more undesirable, the horrible flu that is going around. Think of this soup as preventive medicine. And as medicines go, you could do a lot worse!
- 8 c. chicken or turkey broth (I use Costco Chicken Bone Broth or Better Than Bouillon Turkey Base and 8 cups of water)
- ½ c. chopped onion
- ½ lg. shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- ¼ c. minced parsley
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 pkg. turkey gravy mix, opt. (provides color, flavor, and a bit of thickening)
- planned over turkey cut into bite-size chunks (however much you want or have)
- 1-2 T. white wine vinegar
- 1½ c. wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
Place the chicken broth, onion, shallot, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley bay leaf, seasoned salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, dried thyme, and turkey gravy mix in a large, heavy, covered soup pot. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer gently for about 90 minutes.
When the carrots are all but dissolved, add the turkey, white wine vinegar, and cooked noodles. Adjust seasoning. Good the first day, but even better the next!