Chicken Soup Recipe: What to Eat When You Have the Flu


It’s effing flu season and people are dropping like flies. Considering the fact that I have yet to get a flu shot this year and everyone around me seems to be sick, I am currently popping vitamin C and Echinacea like candy and hiding out in my apartment (thank God for self-employment). I’m also suffering from a Purell fume-induced headache.

The flu is practically the plague, and I don’t wish it upon anyone. Ever. Unfortunately, it’s coming for many of us this winter, and short of taking up residence in a bubble, there’s almost nothing you can do to stop it. I know this because I have already been a flu victim this year. And it sucked.

When my boyfriend got sick in late October, I felt sorry for him, but I felt more sorry for myself. Between the shared bed and the lack of doors in our tiny apartment, I knew I was screwed. Naturally, I did everything I could to avoid catching the flu. I took vitamins, pounded orange juice, and tried to limit all touching of the patient to affectionate pats on the back. However, short of forcing him to cover his nose and mouth with a surgical mask and wearing a “Don’t touch me!” sign around my neck, there wasn’t much I could do.

A few short days later, I was a sniffling, aching, fever-ridden hot mess. Obviously, being sick blows. You feel terrible, and even worse, you look terrible. For this reason, I like to be left alone when I’m sick. When others are around, I feel the need to put on a brave face (and clothes), but when it’s just me, I’m going to put on my pajama set, close the curtains in my apartment, and whimper pathetically whenever I feel like it. 

Realistically, lying in the dark in your sweatpants won’t necessarily cure what ails you. If you’re anything like me when you’re sick, you want your mom and you want some chicken soup. Unfortunately, unless you live at home (no judgment), your mom probably isn’t going to appear to take care of you. But I can help you with the soup part. I’m not talking about Campbell’s chicken and stars, I’m hooking you up with the real deal. 

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, whip up some of this cure-all chicken soup. It’s warm, comforting, and full of restorative goodness. Plus, the cayenne pepper will help clear out your sinuses. Oh, and if you’re really too ill to make it for yourself, I recommend hinting to your roommate/friend/significant other/mom how much better soup would make you feel. Then email them this recipe and hope for the best. 

Cure-all Chicken Soup: (Serves 6 … or one sick person for at least two days)


4 medium carrots, cut into ½ inch rounds

Preparing your soup:

Place chicken breasts into a large pot. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the stock and set aside. When cool enough to touch, pick the meat from the breast-bones and shred the chicken. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot and add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, and sweet potatoes. Sweat for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and sweat another 5 minutes.  Strain the chicken stock over the vegetables. Bring it to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Add the quinoa and the shredded chicken and continue to simmer another 20 minutes. Or longer. Go ahead and finish your TV show if you want to. Ladle soup into a bowl and top with chopped cilantro and avocado and serve piping hot. Here’s to your health!


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