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Best Chicken Soup Recipe for Colds and Flu

November 30, 2008

chicken-soupSo you are under the weather huh? Has your family spread their sickly germs around and you are just waiting for your turn? Maybe you don’t live near your mother close enough to take advantage of her cooking and caring for you. Are you coughing? Can’t breath through your nose and you’re wheezing? Feel like a cold’s coming on or you know you got one bad?

Well continue to read and get this great recipe I have concocted which creates a few twists to your normal homemade chicken soup recipe made specifically to help clear your nasal passages, open your airways and to help you start to feel better as soon as you have your first spoonful.

Containing fresh garlic, onions, rosemary, jalapenos, red cayenne pepper, cumin, scallions – it is with these fresh ingredients that help shorten your cold and open your airways allowing you to breath, aids in making your coughs productive and take rest to start healing.

How this recipe came to being:

Recently, my partner’s son was in from overseas, and while my guy was preparing for his son’s visit, he went out and bought what seemed like the farm when in came to the amount of chicken he brought home. I never had so much frozen chicken in my house. And though we hadn’t had our first colds of the year, we started taking turns every week in making our versions of homemade chicken soup. We came up with many versions – all delicious, each having their own characteristics and variations of added seasonings.

What we learned is that homemade chicken soup regardless of how you make it, or what ingredients you put into it, hot chicken soup is always good for the body and soul especially when you are feeling under the weather.

Now we obviously know there are a lot of moms and grandmothers out there who swear (OK they don’t actually swear, well at least some of them don’t swear out in public – OK some of them do and you probably have seen those few moms on the Jerry Springer show, but I digress). But these mothers and mothers of mothers certainly promise that their chicken soup recipe is simply the best to help cure colds – one thing is for sure, mothers (including yours were right). Sipping hot fluids really do help thin out mucous sputum and help open up the nasal passages – and as there are a countless number of ‘mothers’ out there, there are certainly a countless number of different versions of chicken soup to help you during your colds…

There really are scientific results stating how hot chicken soup can shorten a cold’s duration while relieving symptoms – so what are you and I waiting for? Here’s my latest version. And if you are curious to read’s comments on the history and healing properties of chicken soup – simply click…

My version with the added red chili pepper flakes and sliced jalapenos really help open up your airways and allow your nose to actually breath again while the fresh rosemary helps your lungs function. So shall we get started cooking?

The cooking process is rather simple, you will be adding the ingredients along with the chicken and water and allowing it all to boil then simmer for at least 90 minutes until the chicken is done. Then removing the chicken allowing it to cool so that you can remove the meat from the bones. Then cooking your noodles separately if you want to add them to your soup, then adding the last of the reserved veggies to your soup and returning the now-deboned chicken along with the noodles to the soup and serving it up to you and your family.


  • One large Soup Pot
  • chicken pieces – I used three leg quarters (legs and thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery – diced (reserve one stalk)
  • 2 jalapenos – diced (or more)
  • 2 medium sized onions – diced
  • 3 large carrots – diced (reserve one carrot)
  • 2+ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon+ red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of FRESH rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4-6 whole ‘cloves’ of allspice
  • 2 large bay leaves – fresh or dried
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of ‘better than bouillon’ chicken flavored paste (optional)
  • 4 stalks of scallions – diced and added at the end.
  • 2 cups dried noodles (optional & cooked separately near the end)
  • chopped fresh parsley or cilantro added at end or to the bowls when serving.


  • Gather your ingredients and place your large stock pot on your stove or even use your slow cooker.
  • Add olive oil to your stock pot (if you are using your slow cooker omit this step and simply add your ingredients to the slow cooker starting with the vegetables first, then add the chicken, then the water and turn it on)
  • Remember to reserve one celery stalk, one carrot and all the scallions – you will be adding those last to the soup pot once your chicken has cooked and you have removed the meat from the bones and replaced it back into the soup – this keeps them slightly crunchy and adds color)
  • Add diced onions, celery and carrots to the mix and turn the heat under pot.
  • Allow the vegetables to sweat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While vegetables are cooking, remove skin off chicken and separate legs from thighs.
  • Add chicken to pot, add all remaining ingredients: garlic, spices, salt and pepper, jalapenos, etc. (except for one carrot, one celery stalk, scallions)
  • Add water to pot enough to bring the water level to about one inch from the top.
  • Allow to come to a boil, then lower heat and allow the soup to simmer for at least 90 minutes.
  • Scoop out chicken. Let cool slightly so it is easier to remove meat from bones.
  • While noodles are cooking (see next step) and chicken is cooling, add the reserved diced carrot, celery and scallions to the soup.
  • When removing meat from the chicken bones, I like to keep the chicken in chunks.
  • Cook noodles separately and when done drain and rinse noodles before adding to soup.
  • Serve up in bowls to feed your cold and starve your fever!

Variations & Tips:

  • You can easily allow this to cook for much longer of course, just remember, the longer you cook the chicken in, it might be a bit ‘drier’ despite it being cooked in the soup.
  • Adding additional jalapenos or red pepper flakes at the end will bring up the ‘heat factor’ opening up the most stubborn of stuffed noses.
  • Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the bowl will also up the vitamin C content.
  • You can ‘cheat’ with the chicken and buy a pre-cooked roasted chicken, remove meat from bones and ‘start’ the soup with the bones only and adding the meat after 90 minutes. – This is especially helpful for those too weak and need a quick fix of chicken soup. Just be sure not to add any of the skin to the soup.
  • By adding the jalapenos, red chili flakes and cayenne pepper in the beginning, the soup takes on a gentle heat mellowing out the spiciness of the jalapenos. I personally like to add more red chili flakes and sliced jalapenos into my bowl just before serving to make it extra spicy – it gets my nose passages to open up so fast, I simply love being able to breath again.

So share with us how you healed you and your family using my version of chicken soup.  Hope you are feeling better real soon!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2008 9:37 pm

    OMG the picture of the chicken is so funny, sounds like a great recipe. i haven’t been hit by a bug yet but I know it’s coming.

  2. Alice permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:04 pm

    This is most helpful information along with the recipe. I am cooking it today to help chase the bugs away.

  3. janie torrance permalink
    December 10, 2009 11:11 am

    Its a really lovey soup. Quick easy and its a thumbs up from me!

  4. chefmaven permalink
    December 10, 2009 11:26 am

    Thanks everyone for your lovely comments! This chicken soup is really easy to make – and by cooking the noodles separately – you get to savor the soup – glad you liked it!
    Happy Health to All!

  5. David permalink
    July 31, 2010 2:10 am

    Thanks for the recipe! Made this the other night for my sick girlfriend, and it was a hit.

    • October 19, 2010 8:07 am

      So glad you enjoyed making it – hoping your galpal is way better!

  6. October 5, 2010 9:44 am

    This recipe would absolutely kick a cold’s butt. Sounds delicious 🙂


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