I love yummy soup recipes! Soups are warm, nourishing meals for this chilly time of year. Veggies and grains that cook a long time in liquid are particularly tonifying for our overworked Spleens. For ideas about what specific veggies and grains are best for your symptoms, check out Healing With Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford.
I recently got creative with my mom’s tried-and-true “Jewish penicillin” chicken soup recipe, adding more veggies, creative grains, and trying it in the crock pot for a delicious nourishing meal at the end of a long chilly day. This soup is especially good for winter colds and coughs. The fresh parsley adds extra vitamin C. Use this recipe as a guide. Add whatever sounds good to you.
- 1 organic hormone free chicken
- 4 onions
- 5 carrots
- 5 stalks celery
- ¼ head of cabbage
- ½ medium size butternut squash
- Sea salt
- Parsley (fresh if available, otherwise dried works fine)
- Bay leaves
- Crazy salt
- 1/2 cup quinoa, barley or brown rice (or any combination of those!)
Chop all the veggies. If stuff is organic, don’t peel it. There are lots of vitamins in the peel. Throw in the crock pot with the whole chicken (remove giblets and neck and discard). Sprinkle liberally with salt and/or crazy salt, dill, and parsley. Add a bay leaf. Add grain. Add enough water to cover everything. Leave all day in the crock pot, or if making on the stove, keep at a mild simmer, adding more water as needed for a couple of hours.
Cooking the grain right in the soup does soak in a lot of liquid, but it makes the grain very digestible and nourishing for those overworked spleens. And it tastes delicious as it soaks in the flavor of the soup.
Once soup cools, remove chicken from pot so you can pull all the meat off and put that back in the soup. Discard bones and skin. This can be a little tricky. If it’s cooked a long time, the chicken should literally be falling apart, which makes catching all those small bones a feat. I recommend a slotted spoon. Cooking soup with bones is very tonifying. And it’s worth it because it tastes delicious! It will be even better the next day. You can also tie the chicken in cheese cloth before cooking to avoid having to fish out all those bones.
For extra immune boost, pick up some Huang Qi (astragalus root) at Holden Acupuncture. Tie a small bunch together with string or in cheese cloth and simmer in the soup. Remove before eating. This will not change the flavor and is safe for the whole family. For extra warming energy, try adding some fresh grated ginger root to the soup.