This is, without a doubt, the best homemade soup I’ve ever made. It’s an excellent chicken soup recipe for colds, because it’s super comforting and the chilli gives this soup a kick of warmth. It’s a great homemade recipe to add to your repertoire.
I call this my immune boosting soup, because it’s great for keeping yourself sick-free for longer, as well as fighting off colds and flu.
This soup is excellent to make all year round, and the ingredients are relatively easy to source and aren’t especially seasonal. However, I love to make this in the winter because the flavors remind me of spring and summer. You’ll never make another chicken soup recipe for colds and flu again.
The Main Immune Boosting Herbs
The main immune boosting herbs and other ingredients we’re using here are echinacea herb and goji berries.
- The Echinacea Herb has been proven to boost the immune system, helping the body produce more white blood cells and fight off bacteria and viruses.
- Whereas Dried Goji Berries have been used in Chinese medicine for over 6000 years, and are a rich source of vitamins C, B2 and A but are also packed with iron, selenium and other antioxidants that are important for a healthy immune system.
Once you’ve made this soup, you should get around 4 decent sized portions that should keep for up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge. You can make a larger batch and freeze it in portions to get the most life out of this soup. I recommend eating this at least once a week, but amp this up if you come into contact with someone who is sick.
But let’s take a look at the different ingredients that go into this divine immune boosting soup!
What You Need To Make My Chicken Soup Recipe For Colds
- 2 tbsp dried Echinacea Herb
- 5 tbsp Dried Goji Berries
- 200ml freshly boiled Water
- 2 ltrs Chicken Stock (homemade or cubes)
- 4 Chicken Thighs
- 2 Large Onions, roughly sliced
- 13 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 5-10cm piece of Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 fresh chillies (your choice of variety) thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
This should produce 4 portions
NOTES: Use a piece of ginger that is between 5-10cm long depending on taste. If you can source them, fresh Goji berries can be used instead of dried to skip the rehydrating process. For the chicken thighs, you can use standard or boneless and you can remove the skin to make this recipe lower in fat.
Chicken drumsticks are a nice alternative, and breast can be used but tends to be a little dryer. Absolutely any type of chilli can be used for this recipe. Some are quite hot, others are more flavourful – choose a chilli that works for you.
How To Make My Immune Boosting Chicken Soup
First and foremost, prepare all of your ingredients by weighing them out and chopping where necessary.
I like to get this out of the way first as it makes everything run much more smoothly later on.
Now that all the chopping is out of the way, we need to make our echinacea infusion that we’ll be using later on. Simply measure out 2 tbsp of the dried echinacea herb into a heat proof bowl and then pour in the 200ml of freshly boiled water. As long as the tap water is drinkable where you live it’s totally fine to use.
Because the goodness in echinacea herb infuses with hot water more readily than cold, I like to put a plate over the bowl just to trap in that heat and prevent evaporation.
Because we’re using dried goji berry, we’ll need to rehydrate them before we can make use of them. To do this, pop your 5 tbsp of goji berry into a bowl and pour in enough cold water to cover the berries. You really have to give these a try, they really do make the difference for this immune boosting soup.
You may find that some float to the top, that’s totally fine. Put them to one side with your echinacea infusion for later.
If you’re using fresh goji berries, skip this step completely.
Now we need to make the stock. You can either use your own homemade stock (which is preferable) or you can make use of premade chicken stock or the ‘just add boiling water’ stock cubes. This time, I’ve opted to make use of the cubes, as they’re super cheap and totally easy to use.
You’ll want around 2 ltrs of stock for this recipe. If you’re using the cubes like I am, follow the instructions on the packet. Once it’s made, pop it into a large pan that you can put a lid on. Then add the chicken thighs, onions, mushroom, ginger, garlic and chilli.
Pop your pan onto the stove and switch it on to a medium-high heat so that the stock reaches a roiling boil. As soon as it’s boiling, turn the heat right down to low so that the stock only simmers.
Then, pop your lid on and leave it for around 1.5 hours.
After it’s simmered for 1.5 hours, turn the heat off and leave the pan on the stove. We’ll want to use this window to finish preparing the infusion and the goji berries.
Using a sieve with small holes, separate the infused tea from the echinacea herb. Don’t worry too much if some of the smaller bits make it through the holes, we just want the bulk of the herb out.
Do the same with your goji berries, except this time discard the water and put the berries into the infused tea.
Now, pour the echinacea tea and goji berries into the pot with your other ingredients. Bring it back up to a rolling boil, and then back down to a low simmering heat. Leave for a further 30 minutes.
After about 30 minutes, all of our ingredients should be properly cooked and nice to eat. The chicken should practically fall off the bone. If it doesn’t, pop it back on the stove for a further 20 minutes.
Otherwise, you’re all finished and you can enjoy your delicious, immune boosting soup! Garnish with any leftover slices of chilli and/or ginger. Sometimes I like to get rid of the layer of fat on top with a spoon, just to reduce my fat intake. But you don’t have to, and it’s even yummier with it left as is.
This immune boosting soup really is the bees knees. It tastes great, is ultra healthy and helps you fight off colds and flu, as well as keeping you well for longer. It really does tick all of my soup boxes.
I really haven’t come across an immune boosting chicken soup recipe that’s better than this, and it’s one of the many home recipes I’ve had a go at. As a nice alternative, try throwing some noodles into the soup right at the end. It really does give it that ‘grama’s chicken noodle soup’ taste and texture.
I like to eat this a few times a week. If I bump into a friend that has a cold, or spend the day in a large city or using public transportation, I always have a portion when I get home just to help combat a days intake of germs and nasty viruses.
If you have any cool immune boosting soup recipes of your own, particularly chicken soup recipes for colds, then go ahead and post about them in the comments section below. We all have our go-to comforts when we’re not feeling so good, and I’d love to read about yours.
Don’t forget to share this on social media, so everyone you know can benefit from a boost in their immune system. But otherwise, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my soup recipe today, and I’ll see you next time with another fabulous savvy homemade craft!