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Chicken soup

Chicken soup
A bowl of chicken soup could be the ultimate comfort food – soothing, sustaining and full of goodness. This simple version adds a little gentle, warming spice to the broth, which can be wonderful if your tastebuds are affected by illness or a treatment such as chemotherapy, and also help to settle the stomach.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: about 10 minutes 
Cooking Time: about 1 hour and 20 minutes


  • 5cm (2in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 1 chicken, about 1.4kg (3lb)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped 
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 lime
  • salt
  • a handful of frozen peas
  • a handful of flat-leafed parsley or coriander, roughly chopped


Bash the ginger with a weight to crush slightly.

Put the chicken into a large pan and add the celery, onion, potato, carrots, ginger, 1 star anise and the peppercorns.

Pour over enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil briefly, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to rest.

Measure out 1.4 litres (2½ pints) stock and pour into a clean pan.

Add the remaining star anise, the lime juice to taste and a pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 7–10 minutes. Add the peas for the last five minutes of cooking time.

Slice the chicken breasts thinly, then put several pieces in each bowl.

Spoon over the hot stock and scatter with the parsley or coriander.


Related recipe
Chicken & chickpea burgers


  • Thank you for getting in touch, Phyllis. My advice would be to make sure you’re getting lots of vitamin C and zinc, as these can help to support the immune system so it can fight off infections. As well as classic citrus fruits, you’ll find vitamin C in red and green peppers, kale and broccoli. For zinc, look to red meat and poultry, flax and pumpkin seeds (great sprinkled on salads or whizzed into a smoothie), cashew nuts, chickpeas, seafood and spinach.

    Jane Clarke on

  • I have a lung problem due to a genetic condition. It affect my lungs by going hard. It’s a liver enzyme that’s very low. Is there anything you recommend to keep infections at bay.

    PHyllis CAmeron on

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