An easy, flavoursome, feel-good soup for when you sense a cold coming on.
So it turns out grandma was right – chicken soup really is one of the best things to help fight the common cold and the nasal congestion that goes with it! Grandma may not have been able to explain the science behind its medicinal qualities, but chicken soup can help speed up the process of recovery, in part because it is:
1) anti-inflammatory: Chicken broth is high in an amino acid called carnosine that helps reduce the inflammatory compounds (cytokines) that contribute to the runny nose, sneezing, and cough we get with respiratory infections;
2) mucolytic: Chicken contains another important amino acid, cysteine. This is a key building block in the production of n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) which breaks down mucous in the nose and lungs, relieving pressure and swelling, and making it easier to breathe. (If you can handle the extra heat, a pinch of red chili flakes will further help clear your lungs and sinuses.)
By adding miso to this recipe we’re fortifying the gut (where much of the immune system is based) with probiotics, and feeding it with essential nutrients and amino acids which are the building blocks of robust health. Furthermore, garlic is high in anti-microbial properties, and ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
So when you feel an infection beginning to make itself at home in the throat, nose, and sinuses, kick things up a notch with this twist on the traditional. Its high immune-boosting nutrients will delight your tastebuds, and feed your body as much as your soul.
To make your own low-sodium chicken stock, click here.
4 cups (1 litre) low-sodium*, organic chicken stock
*low-sodium, since miso is high in sodium
1-inch knob of ginger, finely grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-3 Tbsp miso paste (to taste)
firm tofu, cubed (optional)
green onions (optional)
In a saucepan, heat chicken stock, garlic, and ginger until boiling. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Place miso paste in a separate bowl and add 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot stock, stirring to combine. Pour this miso paste into the saucepan with the rest of the stock and stir before serving. Add diced tofu and garnish with green onions (optional).