Spring is here, bringing the pollen, allergies and the respiratory discomfort that comes along with it. May has been designated as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Millions of Americans suffer from sinus problems, allergies, and asthma. Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common chronic conditions, affecting 10 to 30 percent of adults and adolescents in the U.S.
When you’re feeling stuffy, nothing hits the spot better than soup.
Here’s a delicious recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Soup that contains vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables, such as carrots rich in vitamin A, red bell peppers full of vitamin C, magnesium-rich spinach, ginger root which contains zinc, plus delicious garlic and onions.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Yield: 6 servings
4 (about 3 to 4 ounces each, bone-in, skin on) chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
2 (5 to 8 ounces each, bone-in, skin on) chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons poultry seasonings
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium to large yellow onion)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded, chopped
1 cup (about half of a 1-pound bag) peeled baby-cut fresh carrots, each cut into thirds
2 large whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons ginger, grated or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 (14-1/2 ounce cans, low-sodium) chicken broth
2 cups (1, 16-ounce box or bag) frozen chopped spinach (do not thaw)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 chopped parsley and stems
Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the poultry seasoning, ¼ tablespoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in medium-sized Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and set lid on askew, and brown well on both sides, turning after 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.
To the pot, add the onion, celery, garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, bay leaves, ginger and the remaining ¼ tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper, stirring well to coat vegetables in the chicken drippings. Reduce heat to moderate, cover, and “sweat” vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and any juices that may have accumulated on the plate back to the pot along with the broth. Cover with a lid and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Turn heat to low and set the lid on askew to allow some of the steam to escape. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot. Remove the meat from the chicken bones and discard the bones and the skin. Add the chicken and spinach to the pot and set lid on askew. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Discard bay leaves. Ladle soup into soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.