HEALING + HEARTY GF CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Updated: Feb 27
Well friends, there's nothing like a bug running through your family to make you want to make a nutrient dense and healing chicken noodle soup. We have been a bit under the weather this past week, and my boys' appetites have definitely been lower. They have mostly wanted plain toast or some of our immunity creamsicle or tropical berry bliss smoothies.
However, the one dinner they have actually eaten really well is this bomb chicken noodle soup! I wanted to make them something comforting and warm with some super foods snuck in there. I also wanted to get some bonus veggies in them since they haven't been eating as much of them as usual.
This chicken noodle soup recipe is different than most, since it contains four extra potent ingredients to nourish us well during a sickness: fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, shiitake mushrooms and fresh parsley.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory super food, with curcumin being the active component in it. Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases. Essentially, curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level - I'll take it!
Furthermore, turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant, and we know that oxidative damage is believe to be one of the primary mechanisms leading to aging and disease. Oxidation involves free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons -- which then react with other important organic substances, like fatty acids, proteins or even DNA.
People have used ginger in cooking and medicine since ancient times. It is a common remedy for nausea, stomach pain, and other health issues. Ginger may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and other healthful properties.
According to this research, fresh ginger may help protect the respiratory system, while dried ginger did not have the same impact. Ginger is also found to be supportive of pain relief, as well as anti-inflammatory -- according to this study.
Mushrooms have immune boosting capability and can support combating many diseases through their vitamins and minerals. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, consuming mushrooms improved cell function and improved gut immunity. There was also a reduction of inflammation due to mushroom consumption.
Mushrooms also have antibacterial properties, as well as being high in Vitamin D, which is important for immune support. Additionally, research shows that shiitake mushrooms can have anti-cancer properties and that the lentinan in them helps to heal chromosome damage caused by anti-cancer treatments. One study showed that shiitake mushrooms actually inhibited the growth in tumor cells due to their myochemical nature. They also inducted apoptosis, which is what leads to the cancer cell death.
Shiitake mushrooms contain compounds that protect DNA from oxidative damage. They also contain all eight essential amino acids, as well as linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid. Given all that -- one can see how healing and nourishing that shiitake mushrooms can be!
Parsley is one of the most powerful disease fighting plants, and is rich in vitamins C, A and K. It is also rich in antioxidants to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Parley is high in flavenoids and carotenoids, which are supportive of health in a variety of ways.
Parley also has antibacterial properties according to this study and more. The vitamins and beneficial plant compounds in parsley may support improved bone health, protect against chronic diseases, and of course provide those antioxidant benefits.
SO, now that we know all the benefits of those ingredients, let's get to the recipe so you can make this pot of goodness for you and/or your family.
2 tbsp chopped fresh turmeric
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 cups chopped carrots (about 4 large carrots)
2 cups chopped celery (about 4 large celery sticks)
2 cups chopped chicken
2 cups gf noodles (we used Organic Cuisine fusili chickpea noodles)
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 cups broth (more if desired)
salt + pepper to taste (don't forget pepper - it actives the turmeric!)
Heat the turmeric + ginger in the bottom of a small pot in a high heat oil like avocado oil.
After it's sauteed for a few minutes, add in the veggies and enough broth to cover them and cook them as they cook. At least 4 cups. If your chicken is uncooked, you can add in more broth + the chicken. (I used a rotisserie chicken so I added mine after the veggies cooked. And then the noodles! Next time I will cook a whole chicken and use that broth and meat). Basically you just want to cook your chicken + veggies + noodles in the broth -- use whatever method you prefer!
Once it's all cooked through, I add in very finely chopped parsley so my kids don't notice it and can't pull it out.
Serve nice and warm with some extra parsley on top! Extra garnishing could be pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, or cilantro.
The soup is hearty, with the noodles adding that comforting bonus. The veggies for so many nourishing benefits and chicken for protein. Of course chicken can be omitted, as well as noodles! All three of my boys ate all of their portions two nights in a row, even when they were sick.
Making your own chicken noodle soup is rather simple (as you can see), and you can mix up the veggies with whatever you prefer or what you have in your pantry. And by making your own, you aren't having to deal with any additives or chemicals that might be in a store bought soup.
Give me ALL the soup -- am I right? Especially when it is made with real, nourishing food.
I think our bodies need real, nourishing food -- all the time and especially when sick. Happy souping friends, and stay well and cozy!