This immune-boosting soup is the best natural “medicine” for staying strong during flu season because it’s loaded with the antioxidant vitamins A and C!
We have been told that a bowl of this soup looks like we went down to the garden, picked a lot of vegetables and threw them all in a pot. That’s pretty close to how we actually make it!
We also use skinless chicken breasts, low in fat and high in protein, but made flavorful and succulent by the variety of veggies that give this soup a big boost of flavor. The whole grain spaghetti adds fiber.
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
5 stalks celery, chopped (about 1½ cups)
4 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 parsnips, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
3 tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), cut into quarters
¼ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 quarts water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until it just starts to turn brown, stirring constantly.
2. Add chicken breasts to saucepot and cook until it looses its pink color on both sides, about 10 minutes. Add celery, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, and parsley. Add 3 quarts water or enough to cover ingredients. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, up to 2 hours.
3. Remove chicken from saucepot; cut into bite-size chunks and set aside.
4. Remove saucepot from heat. Pour 1/3 of mixture into blender; cover, with center part of blender cover removed to let steam escape, and blend until pureed. (Or, use an immersion blender and puree in saucepot.)
5. Pour soup into bowl and repeat in batches with remaining mixture. Return all soup to saucepot; add chicken and stir in salt and pepper. Return soup to boiling.
6. Once soup is boiling, break spaghetti in half and add to saucepot. Boil 7-8 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
7. To serve, ladle 1 cup soup into each of 12 bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if you like. Makes 12 servings (1 cup per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 170 calories; 4g fat (1g sat fat, 2g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fat) ; 45mg cholesterol; 15g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 4g sugar); 20g protein; 110mg sodium; 70% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 25% DV vitamin C; 4% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.
Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.