Chicken soup for sick kids

Unsure of what to feed your kids when they are unwell? This recipe provides the best foods for sick kids.  This chicken soup is nutrient loaded, super tasty and super easy and a meal that you can prepare quickly.  It's not only for sick kids, the whole family will want to eat it once they get a whiff of it cooking.  Don't be put off by the addition of greens in the photo.  You can easily adapt this recipe to suit your child if you have a fussy eater.  See notes at the end of the recipe.

SERVES: 4    PREP & COOKING TIME: 10mins     

FREE FROM: Gluten, dairy 

INGREDIENTS   

4 small cloves garlic, crushed  

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (or from a jar)

¼ tsp ground turmeric (see notes for amounts if you can get your hands on some fresh )

1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock ( I like Celebrate Health brand of Organic Chicken stock)

1 litre (4 cups) water

300 - 500 g free range/organic chicken breast, cut into chunks. If time poor, buy a gluten free bbq chicken and shred  into pieces.  See notes on using whole chicken

1 handful coriander, chopped (optional – can be taken out if your child has a ‘green’ aversion

1/3 cup oats

1 /2 cup additional vegetables - see list below to choose from

¼ cup (60 ml) mirin or rice wine (optional)

3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (make sure gluten free if need be)

METHOD

  1. Combine the garlic, turmeric, ginger, stock, water, vegetables, oats and chicken into a large pot
  2. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes over a low heat until chicken is warmed through and flavours have infused into the stock
  3. Add mirin, tamari and coriander.  Let these infuse for 5 minutes and then if your child isn’t a fan of ‘green’ veggies, remove/strain out
  4. Serve in bowls or a big mug and sip slowly

NATALIE’S TIPS

  • Let coriander and vegetables steep before taking out if your kids have a green aversion or alternatively you could blend all ingredients together so no known "green bits" are evident!
  • Vegetarians can use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock and use an alternate source of protein like a GM free tofu to boost protein.   Alternatively, if not vegan you could beat 2 eggs and pour in a thin stream over the simmering stock for some extra protein.  The eggs end up creating thin strips that look like noodles so can be a fun and a healthy edition.
  • Additional foods that will provide therapeutic benefits include: shiitake mushroom, spinach, kale, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery and parsley.  All of these foods provide additional nutrients that can help speed recovery from illness and provide some energy.  
  • Oats: I especially like to add oats as they are a cost effective super food.  You can blend the soup before serving and the oats give it a lovely creamy texture.  
  • Fresh turmeric is available from some mainstream supermarket stores or alternatively from health food/boutique food stores. If you are using fresh, then ½ tablespoon would be more than enough. 
  • This soup only takes 10 minutes to make which is why chicken pieces are used.  You can make this soup using a whole chicken, using all of the stock and removing the tender meat from the chicken then stirring through the stock before serving. This will take approximately 1 ½ hours.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This recipes is adapted from Teresa Cutter’s “Immune boosting chicken soup”