Chefs' Picks: Best Cold Busters
With cold and flu season comes the need for healing soups, teas and tonics. Chefs, in particular, know that eating the right kinds of foods can stave off those dreaded sniffles. Pros from across the country share their tried-and-true remedies for conquering colds.
Kicked-Up Noodle Soup
Garlic-ginger chicken soup is the key to conquering sickness for Chef Charlie Yusta of Horse’s Mouth in Los Angeles. “The combination of the vegetables, ginger and chicken broth really help fight a cold or flu,” says Yusta. “The vegetables contain vitamins, which boost your immune system, and the ginger helps reduce stomachaches and headaches, and fights any bacterial infections.” Speed the path to steaming soup by purchasing a roasted chicken in lieu of roasting your own.
Ginger Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup
For the Chicken
1 three-pound roasted whole chicken
Light olive oil
Rub the chicken with salt and pepper, drizzle with light olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for an hour.
Let chicken cool. Once cooled, take skin off of the chicken and save for later. Pull all meat off the bones. Put chicken meat aside. Save bones to make the broth.
For the Broth
Bones from roasted chicken
3 quarts chicken stock
2 one-ounce packs of tamarind soup mix
Special equipment: blender
Put the chicken bones in a 4-quart pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain bones out.
Peel ginger and blend in blender with one cup of the hot broth from the pot until smooth. Add the blended ginger and broth back into the pot, along with the tamarind soup mix.
For the Vegetables
15 cloves garlic
1 bunch celery
3 bunches baby heirloom carrots
10 Roma tomatoes
6 baby bok choy, halved
2 yellow onions
1 bunch kale
Light olive oil
Cut all vegetables in approximately 1-inch squares. Drizzle with light olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on sheet pan and be sure not to crowd them too close together. Roast in oven at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes.
Remove vegetables from oven and mix them together. Hold until ready to serve.
For the Noodles
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients in bowl and mix together by hand. Then roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into noodles. Drop the noodles into salted boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside.
*Optional: Crispy Skin Garnish (take chicken skin and crisp up in a pan)
Add the chicken, vegetables and noodles to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with crispy chicken skin if desired. Serve with the following condiments on the side: fish sauce and chiles.
A Boozy Solution
Chef Tal Ronnen from the plant-based restaurant Crossroads in Los Angeles feels a vegetable-rich diet can help ward off sickness before it even starts. “Plants and vegetables are inherently chock-full of nutrients, vitamins [and] minerals and are a gold mine for everything your body needs.” Ronnen says.
His recipes incorporate power-packed ingredients, such as kohlrabi, mustard greens, mushrooms, artichokes and chickpeas. He also advises staving off colds with a vitamin-packed cocktail concoction, such as his own restaurant’s Dr. J, made with cold pressed carrot and orange juice (squeezed on the premises), white rum, ginger and lemon.
Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
A Bit of Broth
As a Midwestern resident, Chef Nicole Pederson of Found and The Barn in Evanston, Illinois, is no stranger to brutal winters and, in turn, lots of under-the-weather moments. For her, the key to staying healthy is bone broth. “Whenever I am starting to feel sick, I drink lots of hot, spicy broth,” Pederson says.
She recommends purchasing a high-quality broth sourced from a socially conscious purveyor, then customizing it by adding chunks of fresh ginger, turmeric, half of a lemon and a fresh serrano or jalapeno pepper split in half, as well as a tablespoon or two of honey. “Put it all on the stove, bring to a boil and then drink it down,” Pederson says. If you prefer to make the broth from scratch, try this slow-cooker recipe (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchen.
Tea with a Twist
There’s nothing quite like cold remedies whipped up from family-approved recipes, as Chef Bill Telepan from seafood restaurant Oceana in New York can attest. Both of his family’s feel-good solutions involve spicy takes on traditional elixirs. “If we get sick in our house, I like to make chicken soup, of course. But we like to add chopped jalapeno and eat it with bread rubbed with garlic and salt,” Telepan says. “I also like to make decaf green tea at night… I add a lot of lemon, honey, red pepper flakes and bourbon. That is the ultimate cold remedy.” For another soothing spin, try this ginger-laced tea recipe (pictured above) from Rachael Ray.
Ginger Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup photo courtesy of Horse’s Mouth and Dr. J photo courtesy of Crossroads.