What's better on a cold winter's night -- especially if you're under the weather -- than a steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup?
There must be something to the homey allure of everyone's favorite culinary cure-all; there's a version of chicken soup in nearly every cuisine in the world. The perfect partner for homemade chicken soup, of course, is bread or crackers. Make your own while the soup simmers (we've paired up the soups with a bread or cracker that's a good fit), or simply pick some up at the store. Then ladle up a big bowl and savor the aroma, warmth, and great taste of what's good for both body and soul.
Chicken and Garbanzo Bean Soup with Sheetpan Focaccia Fennel -- a key ingredient in this soup -- has a creamy white bulblike base, pale green stalks, and feathery green leaves. It has a light, licorice flavor and a texture that is similar to celery.
Got a cold? Take a nice, hot bowl of chicken soup. When colds or the flu attack, we turn to treatments that provide comfort: warm blankets, soap operas, and, of course, hot chicken soup -- sometimes called "Grandma's penicillin." But there's more in that pot of soup than meets the eye -- or nose and throat.
You have a full-blown anti-misery strategy with 2,000 years of scrutiny behind it. An ancient Greek treatise described how chicken soup could be used to treat respiratory disorders. In the 12th century, physician and scholar Moses Maimonides wrote that chicken soup suppresses some symptoms associated with colds, flu, and asthma.
Modern researchers and doctors are lending credibility to the long-standing assertion that chicken soup can help cure the common cold. In a controlled experiment, physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, Florida, found that hot chicken soup cleared the congestion that accompanies a cold.
And it's not only the steam from the hot liquid that helps clear up sinus blockage, either. Chicken soup contains compounds that seem to block the movement of inflammation-causing white cells in the windpipe.
Can we legitimately call chicken soup "penicillin"? Of course not. Chicken soup doesn't have bacteria- or virus-killing abilities. But it does provide relief from the symptoms of the cold or flu -- and it tastes good, too.