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Chicken soup for the cold - Jewish penicillin

Is chicken soup really Jewish penicillin?

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Matzoh Ball Soup

Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Chicken soup may well be the ultimate comfort food. Its soothing aroma and rich flavor brings back memories of Mom or Grandma lovingly stirring the pot in the kitchen. You may be surprised to learn that the Chinese consume more chicken soup than any other culture. Chicken soup is firmly entrenched as a traditional food in Ashkenazic Jewish culture, spanning the globe as Jews migrated worldwide. (See Matzoh Balls for Passover.)

This savory soup is also considered a peasant food, since it can be frugally whipped up from parts of the fowl which are not necessarily meaty but contain intense flavor, such as the neck, back, wings and the bones. After the meat of a whole chicken has been used for one prime meal, the carcass can be transformed into an equally sumptuous and satisfying soup.

Is it Jewish penicillin?

The scientific verdict is still out on this question. It certainly seems to help those with colds and congestion, but may not necessarily be the best choice for an upset stomach unless it is fat-free.

Some studies seem to indicate definite healing properties of chicken soup while others indicate any hot soup can produce the same result. Doctors do seem to agree that a hot savory broth helps open nasal passages and soothe the throat for a period of up to half an hour. Sipping soup through a straw does not produce the same beneficial result as consuming the hot soup with a spoon. Clearly the vapor and aroma are important factors.

Clear soups provide necessary substinence and hydration while helping to stimulate the appetite. Certainly there is also a mental factor involved. Memories of home, being pampered by Mom with soup as a child, or just the warm feeling of the hot soup in the stomach strongly come into play. We all know that love is good medicine, and it is a strong component of soup.

More about Chicken Soup:

Is chicken soup really Jewish penicillin?
Selecting Chicken for Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup Tips and Hints
Soups and Stews Cooking Tips
Chicken Soup Recipes
Chicken Soup Photo © 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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