ed. note: This post originally ran in September 2017, but we thought it felt particularly on-point for the coming weeks when we’re staying home and making the most of the ingredients we have on hand. Use this soup as a comforting, healthy meal that will help keep you and your family nourished during this difficult time. This recipe yields enough for leftovers to freeze, too! Or, double it to have it last you all week long.
Most of us have finally woken up to the fact that food is medicine — what we put into our bodies has an incredible effect on how well it operates, and over the last couple of years I’ve become fascinated with learning more about ingredients that possess super powers when it comes to boosting health. I first read about the idea of an Immunity Soup from Dr. Andrew Weil, whose recipe includes Chinese herbs and mushrooms that have immune-enhancing properties. So I decided to create one of my own, and this Turmeric Chicken Immunity Soup uses easy-to-find ingredients that most of us have floating around in our fridges at any given time.
I love a layered, flavor-packed soup… but I also love weeknight dinners that take less than 20 minutes to prepare, and often those two qualities do not go hand-in-hand. For this one, I used a few of my favorite shortcuts that I frequently employ to make soups taste way more complex than they actually are.
First, rotisserie chicken is your friend. Let’s be real: it tastes just as good as anything you’re going to roast at home, and picking one up on your way home from work and shredding it up (and having leftovers) is way faster and easier than roasting an entire chicken from scratch.
Also, I cook everything in one pot, including the noodles which just get thrown into the soup for the last few minutes of cooking time. They soak up all the spicy flavors and it’s much quicker than cooking the noodles on their own beforehand.
Now let’s talk about these super ingredients. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, and garlic has powerful antibiotic properties that protect heart health. And of course, we’ve all heard about the incredible anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, which I just heard are more readily absorbed when combined with fat or pepper, both of which are present here. Try to find fresh turmeric root if you can: it’s so good grated into this soup, though powder works great too.
Most importantly, this recipe is insanely delicious and approachable event to non-adventurous eaters — the kids loved that it was basically chicken noodle soup, just a whole lot more delicious. Keep scrolling for the recipe, and can’t wait to hear if y’all give it a try!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced or grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder, OR 1-inch piece of turmeric root, grated
- 6 cups chicken broth
- small bundle of buckwheat soba noodles (look for gluten-free) - I used about 1/4 of the package
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken - I used half of a rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- garnish: more cilantro, lime wedges, thinly sliced red chili or a sprinkle of red chili flakes, sliced avocado
- Heat up a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, then swirl just enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté for about a minute.
- Add carrots, celery, and turmeric, and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until carrot and celery is tender. Add broth and bring to simmer, then add the noodles and cook just until the noodles are al dente (check package directions for cooking time.)
- Add chicken and cilantro and cook just until everything is warmed through, then divide into bowls and top with cilantro, lime wedges, sliced red chili, and avocado. Eat!