Chicken Soup...the Original Immune System Booster

(October 2010)


Cold and flu season is on its way. Soup can not only help you feel better while you're sick, it can help prevent sickness, too. This recipe takes the homey comfort of chicken noodle soup and boosts the nutritional value by adding immune modulating herbs like onions and garlic, stinging nettle, burdock root and shiitake mushrooms. You can make this soup ahead of time and freeze it in glass containers.


Things You'll NeedChicken Soup

  • 2 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 pint shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cooked rice 
  • 6 cups organic chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. dried burdock root
  • 1 tbsp. dried stinging nettle leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried dill leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper to taste


1. Set a large soup pot on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté for two minutes, add the carrots and celery.


2. Add the mushrooms and chicken and saute again for 2 minutes. Add the rice, chicken stock, burdock root, stinging nettle, dill, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover and raise the heat to medium high. Cook until the soup is boiling, and then simmer it on low for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.


3. A few minutes before it's finished, taste it to make sure there is enough salt and pepper. You also may want to adjust some of the other seasonings. You can serve this by itself or with a salad.



  • Always use organic vegetables when possible.
  • Find the best quality herbs you can. Dried herbs can be a powerful substitute for fresh.
  • Use organic, free range, grain fed chicken without hormones or antibiotics.
  • Never wash mushrooms-just dust any dirt off with a damp towel or a pastry brush. Washing can make them taste waterlogged.


Recipe contributed by Nikol Margiotta, DN


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