According to ancient Chinese medical text, chicken soup was used as a therapeutic dish and is known as a “yang food” or warming dish that promotes “energy” in the body. Western scientific studies have been conducted to try and determine which curative properties of the broth can help to thin mucous in the lungs and clear up congestion. Personally I believe it is about providing the best nutritional support I can to allow my body to reduce any inflammation that might be present in my system. And, with more and more research showing that the root of most illnesses whether they are chronic (Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis) or communicable (common cold, flu, strep throat) are due to chronic inflammation in our bodies it is vitally important that when our bodies are under stress (sick) we give it the best arsenal we can to heal itself.
So, it’s no wonder to me that the odd time that I am feeling under the weather (it’s been years since I had a knock down, drag out cold) the first thing I want is a big piping hot bowl of my mom’s chicken soup. Unfortunately with her living more than 12 hours by car away from me I have had to come up with my own recipe. Fortunately, I have a nifty kitchen appliance called the Instant Pot which makes fast work of an otherwise arduous process.
And when I’m feeling particularly impatient I will cut corners even more and buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from a local supermarket and add the meat once the vegetables are cooked. I have also been known to use store bought chicken broth if I don’t have any on hand. I make sure to buy organic chicken and broth just to make sure I’m not adding to the inflammation situation. With this technological phenomenon I can have a warm, healing bowl of chicken soup that is chock full nothing but good for you vitamins and minerals in me in less than an hour.
Broccoli may not seem a typical ingredient in chicken soup but my mom always has added it to hers. Like mother, like daughter. I add it once the soup is cooked because it will only take a couple of minutes to soften it up just enough.
One last thing: there is a secret ingredient that I add that my mom doesn’t (I haven’t even mentioned this to her yet, so between us “mum’s” the word here): fresh lemon juice. It may seem a little unorthodox (haven’t I already crossed the line with the broccoli?) but I promise you it might just be that certain something that’s been missing from your otherwise perfect chicken soup. It’s very important that you add it just before you take your first slurp of soup. Add it while it’s cooking and it will leave your soup tasting bitter.
Author: Cassie Elliott
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Assembly time: 5 minutes
- 1 pre-cooked rotisserie style chicken (organic preferred)
- 3 medium size carrots
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 6 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- wedge of lemon
- Chop the onions, carrots and celery.
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute setting.
- Add butter to the Instant Pot.
- Add the chopped vegetables and cook until onions are slightly translucent.
- Add the chicken broth and spices.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the steam vent to “pressure”, press the Soup/Stew button and set the time for 7 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, shred half the rotisserie chicken.
- Once the cooking process has finished, put the Cancel/Keep Warm button. Let the pressure naturally release for approximately 10 minutes. If the pot is still under pressure, carefully release the pressure manually.
- Remove the lid once all the pressure has been released. Check the seasonings at this point to see if you need more.
- Add the chicken and broccoli to the pot. Give it a stir and put the lid back on for 2 minutes.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice just before eating.