Make Chicken Soup the Cornerstone of Your Culinary Arts

You're not a chef until you perfect chicken soup. While this time-honored standard may not define your culinary career, it will keep your clientele healthy and happy. Offer those who seek out your cooking talents this cold-weather treat, and you offer them the psychic comfort unique to this broth. And now there's proof of the soup's healing powers. Is it any wonder chicken soup represents soul food to so many cultures?

Healing Food, a High Culinary Art

The proof is in, and health practitioners agree on chicken soup's many virtues. Listen to those who praise its healing properties:
  • The American College of Chest Physicians find no evidence that cough syrup effectively treats children's colds; the group suggests, instead, acetaminophen and chicken soup.
  • Misha Ruth Cohen, O.M.D., L.Ac., Director of Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, a clinic in San Francisco touts chicken soup as an ideal energy food that repairs cells and muscles and helps the body fight infection.
  • Leah Raye Mabry, M.D., R. Ph., a nutrition spokesperson for the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, praises chicken soup for nourishment and necessary hydration, keeping nasal passages moist and soothing the irritated throat that often accompanies illness.
Clearly the time-honored medical adage should read "chef heal thyself."

Chicken Soup Goes Ethnic

Perhaps because of chicken soup's many virtues, most cultures include the miracle food in their culinary arts repertoires. Here are three cultural variations to enrich to your culinary career options:
  • Jewish tradition insists on keeping the fat for richness and flavor
  • For Chinese chicken soup, add ginger and chopped scallions
  • A spicy Spanish chicken soup takeoff needs tortilla strips and cilantro and your chilis of choice
Add chicken soup to your culinary arts, and you'll have a dish fit for a president, if not for kings. After his heart surgery, Bill Clinton turned to low fat chicken soup to help him slim down and recover.

  • "Bill of Health." People 62.19 (Nov 8, 2004).
  • "Chicken Soup Cure May Not be a Myth," by Alan B. Hopkins. Nurse Practitioner 28.6 (Jun 2003).
  • "Eat to Thrive," by Dorothy Foltz-Gray, Sarah Bowen Shea, and Pornchai Mittongtare. Natural Health 35.2 (Feb 2005).
  • "Mother Knows Best." American Fitness 22.1 (Jan/Feb 2004).
  • "Next Time, Try Soup," by Jennifer Barrett. Newsweek 147.4 (Jan 23, 2006).