Dear Annette: Soups Save the Season

Dear Annette: Soups Save the Season

Annette Doody
Savory Bistro Owner & Wellness Coach

Dear Annette:
Winter months are so hectic with holiday events and parties for my family. Is there an easy way to get through the season of winter and try to keep our immune systems from running down leaving us vulnerable to colds and flus?

Dear Reader:
It is true that when we get tired from a busy schedule our immune systems often pays the price. I have a little trick that works so well and has not failed me for years: EAT SOUP. Broths with ginger, garlic and herbs all are immune boosters. The best thing to do to boost your immune system during cold and flu season is to get more vegetables into your diet. The phytonutrients that keep the cold away are all in our vegetables. Making your own soup from a bone broth is always the best. Make big batches and freeze servings to have on hand for nights you do not want to cook. I am including one of my favorite easy soup recipes for you to try.

Robust Chicken Soup
MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 20 minutes • COOK TIME: 25 minutes
I’m not sure what I should call this dish. It’s more than a soup, but not quite a stew. Maybe it’s a stoup (you’re laughing now, but just wait till “stoup” makes its way into the Oxford English Dictionary). Well, no matter what you call it, I think you’ll find yourself singing its praises often, as this is really a hearty, yummy recipe.

2 cups cooked cannellini beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can, rinsed
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 fennel bulbs, finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
6 cups Old-Fashioned Chicken Stock or Magic Mineral Broth , or store-bought organic stock
2 cups sliced cooked organic chicken
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups arugula leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil

In a bowl, stir together the beans with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion, fennel, carrots, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sage, and thyme and cook for another minute. Pour in 1/2 cup of the stock to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 5 1/2 cups of stock, the beans, bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken, zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, arugula, parsley, basil, and another 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and serve right away.

Variation: Spinach or kale cut into bite-size pieces can be substituted for the arugula.
If using raw chicken (pieces), add with the beans and vegetables and simmer until cooked through.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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