Chicken Soup: Better than a Flu Shot?

chicken soupWhen you get to be my age, there is a “big” push at this time of year by pharmaceutical companies to get your FREE flu shot.  I am not sure if this is simply an Obamacare benefit or rather a promotional offer by CVS to encourage Americans to restock their medicine chests for the cold winter. Nevertheless, I continue to resist the FREEBIE on the simple premise that it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to introduce “foreign” antibodies into my body. Sheila thinks differently and has accused me of suffering from some mental disorder after escaping the siege at the Branch Dividians’ Compound in Waco, Texas.   Now that the Bird Flu (aka avian influenza) has appeared in the United Kingdom killing three mute swans in Dorset, I have decided to ingest my own personal remedy:  Chicken broth.

GourMay’s Organic Chicken Broth


  • Carcass of an organic chicken,
  • A carrot cut in three large pieces;
  • A stock of celery cut in three or more large pieces;
  • Half of an onion cut in a couple of large pieces,
  • A sprig of thyme,
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation (makes a 1 1/2 to 2 cups)

  • Most people can get about four servings from a roasted chicken.  For broth, simply strip the chicken meat from the carcass and break down the carcass so that it will easily fit into a large sauce pan;
  • Cover the carcass in cold water, add the carrot, celery, onion and thyme and bring to a boil;
  • Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer uncovered for about an hour or so until most of the meat is off the carcass;
  • Strain the broth through cheese cloth or a very fine wire mesh strainer and discard the carcass and veggies.

Unless you are in perfect physical condition – like “Bogey” Pinson – and drink a cup a day of organic chicken broth, you are likely to get the flu.  In that case you will need “Get Better Soup” that was featured in Gourmay in 2011.

Get Better Soup

Thérèse has a cold, so I decided to prepare my world-famous “Get Better Soup.”    Actually, it is not my “Get Better Soup,” it comes from a recent article in the New York Times from Marian Burros.   You are looking at between 8 to 20 garlic cloves so make sure you stay well downwind of the patient.  Actually, cooked garlic isn’t all that bad.  This soup is guaranteed to give you a sharp kick in the backside to get you on the road to recovery.

Get Better Soup


6 cups rich turkey or chicken stock
2 HEADS of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
4 to 6 small fresh jalapenos, seeded and coarsely chopped, or less if desired
1 Tbs fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pepper Jack cheese


  • Combine the stock, garlic, jalapenos and herbs in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the garlic is very soft, about 30 minutes
  • Transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth.  Season with salt, and serve in mugs, garnished with the Parmigiano-Reggiano or pepper Jack cheese if you are up to it.