Six Soups to Soothe a Cold

Under the weather? One of these soup recipes might be the perfect cold comfort.

ByABC News
September 17, 2008, 2:52 PM

Oct. 24, 2008— -- We've all heard the age-old recommendation: Starve a cold.

Doesn't work.

And what about: Chicken soup will cure the common cold?

Not exactly, but there might be a little truth to the old wive's tale.

There's no question hydration helps the body fight illness. Not to mention that warm liquids can comfort those clogged nasal passages. But recent research indicates that chicken soup, specifically, may help you feel better in other ways.

"It does actually have an anti-inflammatory effect," says Dr. Lisa Bernstein, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta and a participant in the OnCall+ Cold & Flu section.

"It's important to just keep your nutrition up, keep hydrated, and if you like chicken soup, go right ahead," Bernstein says.

Sure, the canned soup standards can do the job just fine, but why not consider soup from scratch?

We've assembled six delicious recipes to try, including the classic chicken noodle soup.

Visit the OnCall+ Cold & Flu Center

None of these recipes is guaranteed in any way to speed up an illness, but they will fill your stomach and soothe you, nonetheless.

  • 1 pkg. ham hocks (chopped) or 1/2 lb. salted pork (remove skin)
  • 2 large linguica (Portuguese sausage)
  • 1 16 oz.-can tomato sauce
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 4 cups diced carrots
  • 4-6 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 cups squash
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 16 oz. cans kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • parsley (to taste)
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1. Slice linguica into bite-size pieces. Cook with ham hocks, tomato sauce and water in a large pot until pork is almost tender (30-45 minutes). Cut meat from bones (if using ham hocks), slice meat into bite-size pieces and return meat to pot. Discard bones.

    2. Add onion, carrots, potatoes, squash, watercress and kidney beans. Simmer on low heat for an hour, stirring frequently. Add garlic salt, pepper and parsley.

    3. Complete by adding chopped cabbage and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add cornstarch to thicken, if desired. Makes 7 quarts.

    From the recipe box of Nira Fernandes of Kahului, Hawaii

  • 3 ounces dried lima or butter beans (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 ounces dried chickpeas (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 celery stalk, large outer veins trimmed, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste (about 3 ounces)
  • 4 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and cut into pieces
  • 1-inch pieces, leaves shredded (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into bite-sized pieces (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1. Soak the dried lima beans and chickpeas separately overnight in three times their volume of water. Drain and cook them separately in two times their volume of fresh water until they are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and reserve the cooking water from both the lima beans and chickpeas. Combine the lima beans and chickpeas; set aside. Combine the cooking waters and set aside.

    2. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.

    3. Add the broth, reserved bean cooking liquid, and the tomato paste. Mix together until well blended and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

    4. About 10 minutes before serving, add the cooked beans and chick peas, the Swiss chard and the pasta. Simmer until the pasta and chard stems are tender, about 10 minutes.

    5. Add the harissa and stir until blended. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls, garnished with the chopped parsley. Makes eight servings.

    Submitted by The Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soup.