Sick Day Turmeric Chicken Noodle Soup

When Chris came down with a bad cold and requested chicken noodle soup for dinner, I thought it was a great opportunity to both make chicken noodle soup and write down this recipe.

I’ve been using this basic recipe for a few years, and decided to up the ante this time with a little turmeric. Turmeric is said to have anti-inflammatory properties (it contains a compound called curcumin), although it’s 1) not readily bioavailable and 2) you would have to eat pounds and pounds of it to have much of an effect. Regardless, it gives everything in this soup a pretty goldenrod color.

Unlike turmeric, there are studies that show chicken soup, with its combination of warm liquid, protein, fat, and electrolytes, actually is effective for combating the common cold. The common cold is a virus, which of course means there’s no “cure” per se, but decreasing the severity of symptoms is always nice. And with cold and flu season ramping up, hopefully this recipe will help keep the worst of it at bay.

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Sick Day Turmeric Chicken Noodle Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 4-5 carrots, cut into coins
  • 2 tsp fresh diced herbs (oregano, rosemary, tarragon, or sage work well; I used oregano in my recipe)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp oil (I used olive)
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb), filleted and halved
  • 16 cups chicken broth (or 16 cups water with two (2.5 oz) bouillon cubes dissolved in it, or any combination of broth + bouillon)
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat until just shimmering, then add onion, carrots, herbs, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, between 5 and 10 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes, then remove chicken and set aside.

Add liquid (broth or water + bouillon). Cover and raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 20 minutes. This deepens the flavor and ensures the carrots are nice and soft. I love a good crunchy carrot, but it’s essential for sick day foods to be mellow.

Add the chicken back in and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and shred with two forks.

Add the noodles to the soup broth and cook according to package directions (I have had luck with 8 minutes at a rapid boil for perfect, dumpling-y noodles). When noodles are done, turn off heat and re-add shredded chicken. Serve immediately.

This soup stores extremely well and only increases its comforting, chicken-y flavor. However, the noodles will continue to absorb liquid, so you may need to add additional water when you reheat it.

May your winter be illness-free, but if it isn’t, hopefully this soup helps!

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