The Cure-All Character in a Bowl Of Chicken Soup

Chicken soup. Is there anything more soothing to a sore throat, or a spirit weary of winter’s endless snow-covered days? A bowl of steaming goodness; aromatic, savory, deep and full of character. This kind of chicken soup, the real chicken soup, cannot be found wherever a Campbell’s or Progresso label is involved.

In her article, Broth is Beautiful, Author Sally Fallon says:

“A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.”

However, this cure-all characteristic is nothing but myth if we search for it in a can, a box, a mix, or bouillon cubes. The healing qualities of soup cannot even be found in a bowl of chicken noodle soup from Panera Bread. Believe me, I’ve worked there, and there’s nothing healing in the soup. No, soup that heals is soup that is simmered on our own stove tops.

If you missed in on Friday, be sure to check out my Whole Food How To post on how to make your own chicken broth! (click here)



The Death of Homemade Broth, and the Conception of Joint Supplements and Wrinkle Creams

“When the industry learned how to make the flavor of meat in the laboratory, using inexpensive proteins from grains and legumes, the door was opened to a flood of new products including bouillon cubes, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners and condiments with a meaty taste.” (Broth is Beautiful, Sally Fallon)

With the introduction of MSG and unnatural food flavors, pots of simmering broth and grandma’s homemade chicken soup were replaced by cans of Campbells and Progresso. With this trade we forfeited a whole line of defense against chronic pain, weak joints, brittle bones, scarring, and wrinkles. This set the stage for pharmaceutical companies, skin care companies, and the ever-growing trend of supplement lines we are seeing pop up all over.

And to think that all these expensive pain killers, supplements, and skin creams could be avoided if we would only reincorporate bone broth into our diets! Friends–this isn’t a myth. My Man, despite the hard work of roofing that took its toll on his joints for years, no longer takes supplements. He just eats my soup. I don’t buy expensive stretch mark cream. I just simmer some broth. It’s really that simple. I think Hippocrates was onto something when he said, “Let food be thy medicine…”



What Makes Homemade Broth So Much Better For Us?

Catherine Shanahan in her book Deep Nutrition points out that, “Broth’s nutritional complexity makes it a nearly perfect bone-building, joint-health-supporting package.”

Catherine was on to something. Well, really, our ancestors were onto something. They understood the healing and strengthening capabilities that broth held. They tapped into this rich storehouse of minerals and nutrients by incorporating bone broth into their everyday eating.

You can do the same. And when you do, here are just some of the benefits you’ll make available to yourself:

  • Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur. Broth presents these minerals in a way that is easy for our bodies to absorb. (Broth is a good source of calcium for those who are lactose intolerant and don’t drink milk)
  • Biomolecules which build, protect, and can even repair your joints
  • Builds strong, healthy bones
  • Can help prevent or improve arthritis
  • The collagen from bone broth heals our own collagen, which means it helps prevent and improve stiff joints, stretch marks, scars, and wrinkles.
  • The gelatin in homemade broth aids our bodies in digestion of other foods

Basically, bone broth is extraordinarily beneficial for your bones, joints, ligaments, and skin!



What About Organic Broth?

Even organic, free-range, or grass-fed broth from the store is not a very good substitute for the real stuff. Here is the ingredient list off of a box of organic beef broth. This is from my own pantry. It happens, folks. I’m not perfect. But we are slowly phasing these boxes out of our home and replacing them with a decent stock of fresh stock in our freezer. I had a good laugh when I noticed the “organic caramel color”!

Do yourself and your family a favor by avoiding the caramel coloring, organic or not, along with all the other additives, and simmer up some delicious, wholesome bone broth on your own stove!



A Simple but Oh-So-Delicious Soup to Get You Started!

This is one of my family’s new favorite soups. It uses both of the simple kitchen techniques I’ve recently demonstrated in my monthly “Whole Food How To” posts, including:

  1. How to Pan-Roast Peppers
  2. How to Make Your Own Chicken Broth

It is a simple soup; in its creation, its presentation, and its taste. And its simplicity is beautiful; showcasing just how elegant, uncomplicated, and powerful a homemade broth can be.



How a Bowl of Soup Can Heal Your Joints, Bones, Scars, and Stretch Marks!

Yield: 4 servings

How a Bowl of Soup Can Heal Your Joints, Bones, Scars, and Stretch Marks!


  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (yellow, red, or orange)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 chicken thighs on the bone (or 2 hind quarters)
  • 3 cups homemade chicken broth, room temperature (Click here for how to make your own chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed if from a can
  • 1 14.5oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • small handful cilantro
  • green onions to garnish


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Make sure your cast iron skillet is completely dry; no water or oil. Add peppers, salt and pepper, cook for 8-10 minutes, tossing every 3 minutes. Your looking for a good blistering on them. Remove and set aside.
  2. Lower the heat to medium, melt the butter in your pan, then place the chicken in skin-side down. Cook 4-5 minutes until browned, flip, cook another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Carefully drain excess juices, then add your chicken broth and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1.5 hours, until very tender. Keep the pan covered as you do not want the broth to reduce. Remove the chicken, reserving the broth, and carefully pull the meat from the bones.
  4. Into a crock pot place your pulled chicken, beans, tomatoes, roasted peppers, and cilantro. Take the broth that you cooked the chicken in and strain it into the crock pot over the other ingredients. Salt to taste.
  5. Cook in the crock pot on high for 1.5 hours. Garnish with chopped green onions and some more cilantro.


To add some spice, consider roasting some hot peppers (jalapeno or habanero) along with the bell peppers, or just add some dried pepper flakes when pan-roasting the peppers.


An Easy and Powerful Whole Food To Add To You Diet

If you are looking for an uncomplicated yet powerful whole food to begin incorporating into your cooking, broth is where it’s at.

As you begin to regularly integrate soups, stews, and sauces made with homemade bone broth into your diet, your body will begin to heal. Even years of damage done to joints, bones, and skin can be reversed.

Not only that, but as you begin feeding your children bone broth, you will be setting them up to build strong bones, supple skin, and healthy joints. Think about the practical benefits of this. Your children can pursue running, or other sports, and you don’t have to worry about damaged joints down the road. When your daughters are grown they can birth babies without being self-conscious of terrible stretch marks left behind. You can worry less about their broken bones and lasting scars when they inevitably fall from those trees. And all this from a bowl of homemade chicken soup. Now that’s a delicious solution to a host of worries in my opinion.


Another Great Way to Enjoy More Broth

A tasty way to incorporate homemade chicken broth into your regular meals, and to encourage it in your children’s diets, is to use it to create a creamy pasta sauce.

Click here for my recipe for A Simple Creamy Chicken Broth Sauce for Pasta (without cream)




Deep Nutrition, Catherina Shanahan
The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This