At the latest, when someone in the family starts snorting and sniffling, I cook a big pot of chicken soup,” says Romana Schneider-Lenz from the food and direct marketing department of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Agriculture (LWK OÖ). .. She still thinks about many old home remedies and is convinced that they work.” Simply because I put all my love and energy into it when I cook.” Last but not least, warming spices like ginger and allspice, local winter vegetables, onions and garlic are very healthy.
What does science say?
Of course, science has long been concerned with the “myth”. Experiments in test tubes have shown, for example, that chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect. “However, the extent to which the results can be transferred to humans remains questionable,” says Klaus Niegl, head of the dietetics course at the University of Applied Sciences for Health Professionals in Linz.
According to a nutrition expert, whether chicken soup really helps with a cold or not cannot be answered with a definite yes or no. In fact, it is not unique to us, it is found in many cultures around the world, and it contains good minerals such as zinc and iron. “Chicken meat, in turn, provides the body with protein, which gives strength,” says Neagle. Soup has another advantage over another hot liquid like tea, for example: “When you have a cold, you often sweat more—and the salt in the soup makes up for that loss.”
As for the vitamin content, Klaus Niggle is not convinced. Of course, many heat-sensitive vitamins are lost during hours of cooking. This can be remedied by adding vegetables that are only briefly steamed before eating.
However, despite all the positives, you shouldn’t believe you can get a “quick cure” with a bowl of soup, Neagle says. “If you don’t feel well and feel weak, then this is a sign that you need rest. These are body signals that should not be ignored.” Chicken soup probably helps in a different way: “I think the social aspect plays a big role here. Just having someone take care of you and stand by the stove for two hours. It’s a very nice feeling.”
Classic chicken soup recipe
Courtesy of Romana Schneider-Lenz, Chamber of Agriculture
Ingredients: 1.5-2 kg of soup chicken (usually 12- to 15-month-old laying hens), 500-700 g of soup vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsley and parsnip roots, celery and leeks, maggi cabbage), 1 onion with husk, 1 tbsp. Peppercorns (chopped), 1-2 juniper berries, 2-3 allspice berries, 2-3 cloves, a little nutmeg or nutmeg, 1-2 bay leaves, 1 piece of ginger, salt
- Wash the chicken for the soup thoroughly and place it in a large pot with about three liters of cold water – the chicken should be covered with water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5-2 hours (depending on the size and age of the chicken). Remove the foam that rises (otherwise the soup will become cloudy).
- After half an hour, when the foam disappears, add the onion cut in half, fried without fat, and spices. Meanwhile, wash the vegetables. Depending on the size, add this 30-40 minutes before the cooking time is up.
- When the chicken and vegetables are tender, remove everything. Remove the meat, cut the vegetables. Season the soup with salt and serve with chicken, vegetables and soup noodles to your liking.