Every fall I watch for the sales on whole Washington chickens to freeze. Then I wait for the first family member to call with an SOS for Respiratory Soup.
That is what our family calls the cure for respiratory infections. After researching the benefits of simmered whole chicken and various vegetables that help cure this infection, this is my recipe. These veggies were selected based on high Vitamin C content and antioxidants and their ability to reduce inflammation. Some recipes eliminate the chicken from the recipe and only use the broth with the vegetables. Barley and beans can be added for protein.
Filling a large pot with water and chopped garlic, onions and ginger, I simmer a whole thawed chicken for at least two hours.
While the chicken simmers, I cook some barley according to directions on the package.
I chop up the following vegetables: lots of onions, lots of fresh garlic and leeks, carrots, cabbage, kale, collards, Swiss chard, ginger root, celery and yams. NO POTATOES. Luckily, most of this is picked from my garden so it is really fresh.
I remove the chicken from the pot and strain the broth to make sure there are no chicken bones or parts.
The chopped vegetables are placed in the broth along with cooked barley. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano can be added also. This simmers until tender.
While that is simmering, the chicken is deboned, chopped and added to the vegetables.
A can of kidney beans are also added. Red kidney beans have more antioxidants. Sometimes I also add organic chicken broth if it looks like I won’t have enough soup.
The soup is laddled into quart jars and lids placed on them. I make enough soup for six quarts.
My husband and I pack up a box with all the jars and head out for the deliveries. The sick family receives the first jars to be cured of the respiratory illness. The other families receive them as a preventive.
Everyone is grateful to relax and enjoy the soothing and nutritional benefits of Respiratory Soup.
It has been suggested that I cook up large batches and freeze them but I feel that fresh soup is best. I also have a Respiratory-Rescue Juice which will be in another blog.