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Fiesta Chicken Soup


I’m surprised that widely publicized list of items to stock up on in case flu hits doesn’t mention chicken soup. Sure, we need plenty of facial tissues and Tylenol around, and a thermometer too, but what’s to eat when illness strikes?

The curative effects of chicken soup aren’t just folkloric. A few years ago scientists put chicken soup to the test to try to figure out why generations of mothers serve it when we’re sick. They studied each of the components of a traditional chicken soup, from the matzo balls to the vegetables, finally concluding that the ingredients of chicken soup, including the boiled extract of the chicken, do seem to have a mildly antiinfl ammatory effect on the body. But the main thing with chicken soup, they said, is that its heat and steam soothes air passages, spicy soup helps triggers watery fluids in the mouth, throat and lungs and the liquid rehydrates us. Many people don’t drink enough fluid when they’re well, let alone when they are ill.

Have you or a family member had the flu? Please eat to stay well, or return to health as soon as possible. Here’s a few good chicken soup recipes that might help.


2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, diced

1 carrot, grated

2 garlic cloves,

finely chopped

1 tbsp. chopped fresh

basil or 1 tsp. dried basil

3 c. chicken stock

1 c. fresh cheese tortellini

or ravioli

1/4 c. shredded cabbage

1 can (28 oz/796ml)

diced tomatoes

1 can (19 oz/540 ml)

kidney beans or

chickpeas, drained

1 c. cubed cooked


Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté over medium heat 2 minutes. Add celery, carrot, garlic and basil. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock, tortellini, cabbage and tomatoes. Cover and simmer over low heat until tortellini is cooked as desired. Add kidney beans and chicken; simmer until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve hot.

Serves 6. Do you have favourite recipes your family especially enjoys in late autumn or early winter? Can we help you find a specific recipe? We love hearing from you each week!

This is the featured recipe for November in the 2009 Manitoba Milk Producers calendar.

The tortilla chips become almost like noodles, making this like a Mexican version of classic chicken noodle soup.

1 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic minced

1 each, onion and sweet

red pepper, diced

2 tsp. chili powder

2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. tomato paste

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2-1/2 c. milk

12 oz. boneless skinless

chicken, cut into

3/4-inch pieces


A spicier version for different tastes. Just use a mild onion if you can’t find shallots.

1 tbsp. sesame oil

3 to 4 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh ginger root,

finely chopped

2 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 tsp. hot

pepper flakes

5 c. chicken stock

In a stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger root, lemon zest and pepper flakes; stir-cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Add vegetables. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add chicken and rice vermicelli. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with cilantro.

1 c. broken corn tortilla

chips (preferably baked)

1 c. corn kernels,

thawed if frozen

Salt and hot pepper sauce

1 tomato, diced

1/2 c. shredded Canadian

Monterey Jack cheese

Chopped fresh coriander

1 to 2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3 c. frozen stir-fry

vegetable mix

1/2 lb. cooked chicken

cut in thin strips

3 oz. rice vermicelli

3 tbsp. fresh cilantro,



Manitoba Co-operator Recipe Swap

Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or e-mail

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In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, red pepper and chili powder; sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in chicken stock and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Whisk flour into milk and stir into pot; stir in chicken. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 min. or until soup is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir in tortilla chips and corn; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Season to taste with salt and hot pepper sauce. Sprinkle each serving with tomatoes, cheese and coriander.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes Serves 4 to 6


This is an easy recipe that can be pulled together quickly courtesy of Manitoba Chicken Producers.

4 c. chicken broth

1 stalk celery, sliced

1-1/2 c. cooked,

chopped chicken

1 c. wide egg noodles

Pour chicken broth into a saucepan. Add celery and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in chicken, noodles and pepper; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add frozen vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

1/8 tsp. ground pepper

2 c. frozen mixed


1 tbsp. chopped

fresh parsley



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