Chicken Soup….more than just good for your soul!

As the leaves begin to change color and the temperature grows colder, families all around the world turn to soup.  Its warm, its comforting, its hearty, but did you know it also helps keep you well?  Who doesn’t remember cuddling up with a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup while fighting off the cold or flu?  It turns out, there is real science behind this theory.

The combination of chicken and broth dates back to the ancient Greeks.   This combination of foods was used to cure basically any ailment they came across.

The idea of noodles and broth comes from Asia in the 1200’s.  It made its way to Europe by the 1700’s.  Physicians in Italy used noodle soup to help cure sick patients because it was easy to digest.

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Noodle soups didn’t become an important part of the American diet until the early 1900’s.  Finally, in 1934 someone had the brilliant idea to combine chicken, broth and noodles and viola! “Noodle with Chicken Soup.” was created by none other than the Campbell’s soup company.  A radio DJ, trying to promote the product, accidentally called it “Chicken Noodle Soup”  and it soon began finding its way into cupboards around the country.


Just like the ancient Greeks, Americans ate soup when they were feeling poorly This led scientists to question whether or not there was any validity to this theory, that soup has healing properties, or if it was just a marketing strategy.

In 2000, scientists at the University of Nebraska discovered some interesting things about Chicken Noodle Soup. They found that some components of the chicken noodle soup  have an anti-inflammatory effect that could lead to temporary relief of illness.  It has also been shown that chicken soup contains a certain amino acid that mimics a type of medicine used by doctors for patients with bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

These findings seem to suggest that eating soup when sick might be a very good idea indeed!


Various forms of Chicken Soup exist all over the world.  Consider the following variations:

China: Chicken and broth is seasoned with ginger, scallions, black pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil.

France:  Chicken soup that includes: bay leaves, fresh thyme, dry white wine and garlic.

India: In India chicken soup is commonly found as an appetizer and it comes in many forms.. Sweet Corn Chicken soup is the most popular, but other variants such as Clear Chicken Soup, Hot and Sour, and Spicy Indian Chicken Soup exist. Most of the Chicken soups are served with Bread Crumbs and boiled eggs. It is very common to see vendors selling soup along the street, particularly in the winter.

Mexico:  Here chicken soup is made with whole chicken pieces instead of chopped or shredded chicken, and large cuts of vegetables, such as half-slices of potatoes and whole leaves of cabbage. Another variation of chicken soup is garnished with chopped avocado, white cheese, and a chipotle chili.

Regardless of your preferred ingredients, it is safe to say Chicken Noodle soup is well loved around the world.  There is no better feeling than curling up under a blanket with a steaming bowl, and it may even cure your cold!  What are you favorite things to put in chicken noodle soup?  Comment below!

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