Super Immune Boosting Chicken Soup Recipe

Nourishing Meals
by Alissa Sergersten & Tom Malterre, MS CN

This is one of my favorite soups to make during cold and flu season. Feel free to add any vegetables you prefer. Diced yams or winter squash are an excellent addition, so are finely chopped hot peppers. You can also replace the napa cabbage with either green or savoy cabbage. Tip: Use 16 cups of water for a 4- to 5-pound chicken or 12 cups of water for a 3- to 4-pound chicken.



1 whole organic chicken (4 to 5 pounds)

16 cups water

1 medium onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

4 to 5 shiitake mushrooms, chopped

1 whole head garlic, cut in half cross-wise

2 to 3 inches fresh ginger, cut into thin slices

2 tablespoons dried astragalus

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped (optional)



1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, sliced

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

4 to 5 cups sliced napa cabbage

1 cup chopped cilantro


  1. To start making the soup, add all ingredients for the broth into an 8-quart stockpot, cover, and simmer for about 1 ½ to 2 hours on low heat.
  2. Place a large colander over another 8-quart pot or large stainless steel bowl. Pour the broth through it to strain out the chicken and vegetables. Place the pot of broth back on the stove. Place the chicken onto a plate to cool. Bring the broth to a boil, add the all of the ingredients for the soup except the napa cabbage and cilantro. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, pull all of the meat from the chicken and cut into smaller pieces. Add the chicken to the soup. Once the vegetables are tender, turn off the heat and add the chopped cabbage and cilantro. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if desired.


Yield: about 12 servings