Chicken Soup For The Soul, And The Body
There may not be many soup lovers out there, but for those that delight in the hot and rich soupy goodness, this post might just be for you. Some chicken soups are creamy but most Asian chicken soup recipes are a clear broth. This comforting and tasty (and some would even say nutritious) soup also comes to mind when you are under the weather, and lack the appetite for more solid food. Our Asian elders would say that it helps with decongesting the nasal passage apart from its medicinal properties. It is also versatile enough to incorporate noodles (or even pasta) to give it more substance, and typically this would bode well with a clear broth version.
A bowl of chicken soup can be as unhealthy, or as healthy as you want it. It all depends on how you cook it and of course, the ingredients. There are also many variations when it comes to recipes; some recipes have been handed down generation to generation and some, just by pure luck of experimentation! Let's take a look at some of the key ingredients for this specific recipe and some of the benefits.
Chicken - the superstar ingredient in this soup. It is known to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect which could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections . It is also a source for B vitamins, which boost immunity.
Garlic - used in many recipes, this gem has an array of benefits - potential in cardiovascular protection, reduced risk of hypertension and cholesterol  and treatment of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning  amongst others.
Carrots - rich in beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants  which helps with eye health, reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Celery - apart from being a good source of fibre, this crunchy vegetable contains compounds that have powerful antioxidant characteristics to remove free radicals . Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners also indicate that the consumption of celery can reduce blood pressure.
Meal prep lovers: once the soup has cooled down, freeze it in freezer-safe containers. Best to consume it within 2 weeks though
Here's our variation of a healthy chicken soup recipe!
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 inch ginger, whole
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 carrots, cubed equally, approximately 1/2 inch cubes
chicken, 800g (chopped, mix of various chicken pieces, boneless and boned)
1 teaspoon of oil
water, approximately 8 cups (up to your preference of intensity)
1 leaf of spring onion, finely chopped (garnishing, optional)
TIP - DON'T WASTE: If you have other vegetables in the fridge that are about to expire, or don't belong to any dishes in the near future, throw them into the soup as well for a unique twist!
Add oil and garlic to the pot, and sauté lightly on medium to low heat for 1 minute.
Then, add onions and ginger, and continue to sauté until onions become soft and translucent to bring out the flavours.
Add water and chicken.
Bring to boil on high heat for about 10 minutes and then turn it down to a gentle simmer for 40-50 minutes, with the lid half open. From time to time, skim the foam to remove the goopy bits from the chicken. Including some chicken with bones will provided an additional depth of flavour.
At the half-way point, add carrots and celery. This is so that the vegetables don't overcook as the meat tends to take longer. Additionally, if you have other types of vegetables in the fridge, you could always throw them into the pot as well for a different taste palette, enriching the broth.
The intensity of the soup will also be dependent on the simmer duration.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with spring onions. Voila!