Chicken soup for the flu

Friday, December 24th 2004, 4:29 pm
By: News On 6

Most of us will be eating turkey, potatoes, stuffing and plenty of desserts for Christmas dinner tomorrow night. You might want to add one more item to the menu though, chicken soup.

For the millions of Americans who can't get a flu shot it's one of the best and oldest protections available. For one thing, the steam helps break up secretions and clear nasal passages, but that's not all.

Claudia Gonzalez/Nutritionist "Everything that is hot is gonna help you feel better. But the good thing about chicken soup is that it has so many nutrients, so many vegetables, so many things that are good for you."

Flu symptom relief can be found in just about any can, but homemade appears to be the healthiest.

A recipe created by a grandmother in Lithuania was studied at the University of Nebraska, and it appears to be the best flu fighter. Researchers found the soup dramatically rescued inflammation in the airways and boosted the body's immune system.

Grandma's Soup
1 5-6 lb stewing hen or baking chicken
1 package of chicken wings
3 large onions
1 large sweet potato
3 parsnips
2 turnips
11 to 12 large carrots
5 to 6 celery stems
1 bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot, and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Boil about 1.5 hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates. Add the parsley and celery. Cook the mixture about 45 minutes longer. Remove the chicken. The chicken is not used further for the soup. (The meat makes excellent chicken parmesan.) Put the vegetables in a food processor until they are chopped fine or pass through the strainer. Both were performed in the present study. Salt and pepper to taste. (Note: this soup freezes well.)