A steaming bowl of soup isn't just a tasty way to warm up on a winter's
day, it's also a great meal that can boost your immune system to fight
off cold and flu germs. Prepared properly, soup can be packed with good-for-you
nutrients and minerals that help your body function optimally. Plus, they're
easy to make, whether you use a pot or slow cooker for heating the soup,
or an immersion blender to puree it.
For your soup base, avoid heavy creams and instead use low-sodium chicken
or vegetable broth. Chicken soup, on its own or with noodles or rice,
is a classic cold curative, and for good reason. Studies show that it
can reduce inflammation and ease congestion. To increase the immunity
boosting power of your chicken soup, add plenty of vegetables for vitamins
and minerals. Some to try include onion, carrot, celery, tomato, cabbage
Certain flavorings can also ward off the germs this season. Look internationally
for inspiration. A Greek orzo soup's lemony zip can help ease congestion
and the garlic in an Italian minestrone could help fight inflammation,
as could the ginger in an Asian broth or noodle soup.
Another benefit of soup is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze
it, or cook a big batch at once. If you do freeze any soup, make sure
it cools completely to ensure food quality and safety, then put it in
a resealable plastic bag that you can label with the date and type of
soup. To use again, it's best to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator
To get your body's immune system in fighting shape this cold and flu
season, try one of the soups below:
Lemony Chicken-Orzo Soup:
Bring 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth to a boil. Add sliced carrots, chopped
celery, chopped onion and two cloves garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add
8 oz. orzo pasta and 8 oz. cooked, shredded chicken breast. Simmer for
an additional 10 minutes or until the orzo and chicken are tender and
thoroughly heated. Top bowls of soup with thin slices of lemon, and garnish
with grated parmesan cheese.
Hearty Lentil And Squash Soup:
Cut 1 butternut squash into 1/2 -inch cubes. In a soup pot, sauté
the squash, two diced carrots, two diced celery stalks, and one diced
onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil until tender. Add 8 cups vegetable broth, 1/2
tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and your favorite seasoning blend
to taste. Add 1 cup dried and rinsed lentil beans. Bring to a boil, then
reduce heat and simmer 1/2 hour or until the lentils become tender. Just
before serving, stir in 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.