Chicken soup feels good when anyone in my house has a cold. It’s an easy way to eat organic vegetables and spices that are gaining ground for documented health benefits. If your kids eat around the vegetables, just sipping the broth can be palliative or maybe even curative for a cold. Here’s a version you can assemble in about twenty minutes, when you don’t have time to brew your own stock from a whole chicken. I choose organic ingredients, including the spices and the canned chick peas. I add fresh saffron threads, which lend strong antioxidant properties, minerals, cytotoxic power (it may kill cancer cells), and a burst of color and flavor. There are also ample turmeric and cumin, known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. I’ve kept it grain free with chick peas, though some may like to add whole grain brown rice for more heft.
Go the extra mile to obtain high quality saffron threads instead of using powdered saffron, which is often adulterated with lesser ingredients. The intense flavor from just a few threads will surprise you, and will transform any recipe you’re using them in. If you can’t find them, you can order some from Savory Spice Shop.
Healing Chicken Soup With Saffron
3 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger (~ 1 inch of fresh root), peeled and minced
3 carrots, chopped into small coins
1 and ½ cups thin sliced cabbage
5-8 strands saffron
1/2 to 1 TBSP cumin (to your taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 cups organic chicken broth (some as vegetable broth is ok) such as Pacific or Imagine brands
1 can organic chick peas
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in the olive oil on medium heat. Don’t brown these, just cook til getting soft/clear. Once hot, add the saffron, turmeric, and cumin. Stir well. Add the carrots, continue cooking for a few minutes, without browning/burning. Stir in the cabbage and coat well with spices. Add the broth. Cook til carrots and cabbage are tender. Add black pepper and chick peas. Stir in cilantro, heat for a minute and serve. You can even drop some vitamin D drops on the surface when you serve up a bowl – like Carlson brand drops that come in 400 IU, 1000 IU, or 2000 IU concentrations – to give this soup an extra immune boosting kick. Note! Don’t harvest saffron from your own crocuses come January or February, unless you know what you’re doing and are certain these aren’t poisonous. Check out a reliable source like Savory Spice Shop or your local farmer’s market.