This is a great way to use a leftover chicken or turkey. All you have to do is throw the leftover chicken or turkey, bones and all into a pot of water. OR you can use cut up chicken pieces (with bones), or just chicken or turkey meat. I decided to use shiitake mushrooms and give it an Asian twist, and we were all pretty happy with the way it turned out. So, here is the immune boosting Asian Chicken Soup recipe.
Aside from the healing properties of chicken soup, this soup contains shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have some powerful healing and immune strengthening properties all on their own.
The Shiitake is featured in many Asian cuisines and has long been considered a delicacy as well as a powerful medicinal mushroom. As far back as the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644), it was known that shiitakes were a remedy for upper respiratory diseases, poor blood circulation, liver trouble, exhaustion and weakness, and to boost qi, or life energy. It was also believed to prevent premature aging.
Scientific studies have shown shiitake’s ability to stimulate the immune system, kill bacteria, reduce platelet aggregation, and possess antiviral properties. One of the substances in shiitake, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound), increases the body’s resistance to pathogens such as the flu virus, West Nile encephalitis, and certain bacterial infections. Another compound is actually used as an intravenous anticancer agent in some countries.
Shiitakes are an excellent source of vitamins B2, B5 and B6, as well as manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc, and a good source of protein, magnesium, and vitamin D. They also provide a wide variety of unique phytonutrients.
One especially interesting area of immune system support involves the impact of shiitake mushrooms on immune cells called macrophages. Among their many important activities, macrophage cells are responsible for identifying and clearing potentially cancerous cells from the body. Shiitake mushrooms help macrophage cells do a better job killing off potential cancer cells.
While shiitakes are known for their immune strengthening properties, they are also known to modulate and prevent excessive immune activity–as in the case of those with auto-immune disease. So, shiitakes are known for overall immune benefits, even for those with overactive immune systems.
Any kind of chicken works for this soup. I used a leftover roasted chicken with some meat left on it, along with a couple of thighs. You can also use a whole cut up chicken, chicken breasts, leftover turkey, etc. Just add enough meat so it’s sufficient for the number of servings you are making.
1 chicken or turkey carcass with some meat on
4 cups water
4-6 cloves garlic chopped roughly
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 cup chopped organic kale
3 carrot slices
1 medium sized baby bok choy chopped
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 carton of organic chicken stock
1/2 cup of quinoa
chopped green onions
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp of soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp of miso paste
Fish sauce to taste
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, add in chicken and about 4-6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about a half hour to an hour, until meat is done and falling off the bones. If you added in large pieces, remove them with a strainer spoon and remove meat from bones, and return meat to stock.
Add in vegetables, and seasoning and simmer for another half hour to an hour. Serve with a tossed green salad and enjoy!! Makes 4-6 servings.
Till next time, stay healthy and lean!
Look for the new 101 Anti-Aging Superfoods and the Anti-Aging Superfoods Recipe book due out next week! (Yes, really–the book did get hung up in production, but it really will be out next week–just in time for Christmas! 😉
Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN,is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.