This is a supercharged immune boosting soup and perfect if you have a cold or just want to keep colds away, it is loved by the whole family. I love it any time.
Bone broth is wonderful in healing our gut and thereby boosting our immune systems, recipe and notes here.
Shitake Mushrooms have been used by the Chinese for 6,000 years or so, and have long been a favourite for boosting immunity. They are high in bioavailable iron, B Vitamins, selenium and zinc, which are all important for healthy immune systems. In Chinese Medicine they are a symbol of longevity...perhaps because they support heart health, help lower cholesterol and are beneficial to prostate health. And they are delicious.
I often do the chicken cooking part at lunchtime or the night before and pop it all in the fridge to throw together quickly for a 5 minute delicious dinner. It makes wonderful lunch the next day and also freezes well.
You’ll need a stock pot big enough to hold a whole chicken plus liquid.
½ tablespoon of coconut, sesame or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
2 onions – diced
1 organic chicken (whole)
1 cinnamon quill
4-5 star anise stars
2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce
a handful of dried shitake mushrooms (you can use fresh, just add later in the cooking process – after you have returned the chicken to the pot to heat up)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
½ teaspoon of seasalt
1 bunch of bok choy / choy sum or your favourite Asian green – water spinach is great too.
About 1/2 litres of liquid. I use half chicken bone broth and half water, but you can also use water or chicken stock and water (use less salt if using chicken stock)
Lightly sauté garlic and onion in the oil for about 2-3 minutes and add chilli flakes if using, stirring for another minute.
Pop the chicken in the pot (Did you ever watch the Muppet Show?…think the chef), add the bone broth/stock and water – enough to just cover the chicken. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise and shitake mushrooms cover and bring just to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes (covered), be careful not to boil as it will make the chicken tough.
Remove chicken from pot and put on plate and refrigerate for about ½ an hour – until cool enough to pull apart, (you can leave it as long as you want really and return to it later. If you do that, put the soup in the fridge too.
When chicken is cool enough, or you are ready, return the soup to the stovetop and pull apart chicken and shred meat. Return the chicken to the soup, warm through, if any of the chicken was still a little pink give it a few minutes to cook through. Add half of the seasalt and fish sauce and taste, adding more if needed . Cut the Asian greens into fine stii and add to the soup just as you turn off the soup. Serve and enjoy!
- Add buckwheat noodles for a chicken noodle soup
- Add extra shitake mushrooms for extra flavor and to give your immunity a big kick.