Truly Sick Chicken Soup

I wrote a piece awhile back about the best culinary remedies for the common cold. Back then, my coughing and sniffling was much helped by tea and chicken soup. The "starve a fever, feed a cold" maxim proved true for the cold, but what about the fever?

Luckily for the sake of culinary research and unluckily for my personal comfort, I was dealt a nasty flu last week that landed me in bed for days with a fever that hovered between 101 and 103 F. All those remedies I tested earlier – garlic, hearty chicken soup, herbal teas – were all too strong and nausea-inducing in a severely sick state. I tried starving out the fever for a day, but without any fuel to fight the infection, the symptoms got worse. I was about to give up and start eating warmed, canned chicken broth when I remembered a recipe my good friend Celia Cohen used to make when she was ill.

Celia is a bit of a genius when it comes to purposeful food, and always knows the best recipes for a high-protein snack or a balanced power breakfast for a busy day. Her soup is possibly the best item yet, as it's everything a fluish person needs: it's easy to make, has a mild, clean flavor and a comforting, throat-soothing heat. The soup lasted me many meals, and before long, I had enough energy to fight off the flu. I certainly hope I won't be getting sick again this season, but if I do, the upside will definitely be enjoying this soup again.

Celia's Chicken Noodle Soup

2 organic, bone-in chicken breasts with the skin still intact (this is important, because the organic meat with the bone and skin are what's going to give you flavor)
1 large carrot, sliced in rounds
1 leek, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
5 cups low salt chicken broth or water
1 cup egg noodles


  1. Pour a little oil in a pot over medium heat and add chicken skin down, letting it cook a bit.
  2. Add vegetables and broth or water. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, and let simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through and tender.
  3. Strain through a sieve. Transfer the broth back the pot, bring to a boil and add the egg noodles, cooking about 8 minutes.
  4. While the noodles are cooking, remove the skin and pull the chicken meat from the bone.
  5. When the noodles are done, add all of the ingredients back into the pot, ladle out a bowl and let the healing begin!

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