Chase Away Colds & Flus with Broth-Based Soup

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Broth-Based Soup

Gina over at Home Joys recently asked whether feeding your family the same meals was a rut or a tradition.

Her post made me smile because today is Wednesday, and for the fall and winter months, Wednesday night’s menu is soup. It’s not really a tradition, like turkey for Thanksgiving, but it’s not a rut either.

When we make soup, they’re all broth-based:chicken, beef, or fish. We do this for several reasons:

1.) With cold and flu season upon us, there’s nothing like homemade broth. When you make a broth, the minerals from the bones, cartilage, and marrow are used by the body as electrolytes.

A 12th-century physician prescribed broth as a treatment for colds and flus, and we’ve heard the same from our grandparents. Modern research has even acknowledged their wisdom (imagine that!) and confirms that rich chicken broth helps prevent infectious diseases. The article Broth is Beautiful by the WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) explains in more detail.

Chicken broth has a natural ingredient that feeds, repairs, and calms the lining in the small intestine. It also heals nerves, reduces allergies, and strengthens your body overall.

Gelatin in broth aids in digestion and has been used to treat anemia, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, and even cancer. It was commonly referred to in the 1800’s as a treatment for infant diarrhea.

Cartilage and collagen components infuse the broth.

I liked saying infuse. It sounds so much better than say. . .leak. Don’t you think? Hmm. Components leak into the broth. . .oh yeah, infuse is definitely better.

Anyhow, those components have been used recently to treat cancer and bone disorders and rheumatoid arthritis.

2.) A totally selfish reason on my part, and my second reason to use broth-based soups on a regular basis, is that there is no comparison to taste. Soups made with water should be used to water the garden. Soups made with canned, processed broth should be poured down the drain. But use homemade broth, and you have an absolutely delicious meal.

French restaurants, European cuisine, tasty dishes made by the Chinese, Japanese, Italians, and in Middle Eastern areas all include broths regularly in their traditional foods. They’re known for delectable sauces made from scratch with attention to the smallest details.

In comparison, Americans have practically forgotten how to cook. Our foods are microwaved in less than two minutes. BEEP! We scrape our supper off a Lean Cuisine tray and call it good. No wonder Americans struggle with weight issues – we’re looking for flavor in cakes, cookies, and boxed pasta and forgetting that the answer is right at our fingertips in a healthier, cheaper, and better tasting way.

3.) Speaking of cheaper – what can be a better money-saving plan than to have roasted chicken one night, using the leftovers in a second dish another night, and then making broth with the bones and stretch that into another couple of meals.

Plus the healthy fats in broth go a long way to filling you up. It’s amazing how broth-based soup can leave you feeling comfortable and satisfied for several hours so you can go longer without needing another meal. I don’t know if you could say the same for Lean Cuisine.

4.) Menu planning is easier too when you already have a set plan for at least one night of each week. Wednesday is often known as ‘hump’ day. It seems that by Wednesday I’m ready for a quick meal preparation. Soups are so easy. For the most part you just pour it all into a pot and let it simmer. :)

With Thanksgiving coming up I’m anticipating the leftover turkey carcass we’ll have. Even our family and friends bag their carcasses and bones and save them for us because they know of my insatiable love for broth. :)

I’ll leave you with my favorite basic broth-based soup. This is the one we go back to again and again. It’s quick, simple, extremely versatile, and yummy.

Basic Broth Soup (casein-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, anti-candida, low-carb)

12 cups homemade broth (chicken, beef, or fish)
2 lbs meat
any combination of vegetables (we use leeks, garlic, onions, celery, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.)
2 T. celtic sea salt
2 t. black pepper
1 t. thyme
1 t. rosemary
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano


1. The day before you make this, pull out your homemade broth if it’s frozen and let it thaw in the refrigerator. I freeze my broth in jars and lately I’ve been freezing in big glass gallon jars like this one. The floating chunks are fat that has risen to the top and hardened.

You can also decide if you want to use left over meat or thaw something from the freezer. We use leftover steak, roast, fish, chicken, or my favorite: meaty soup bones.

2. If you are going to use soup bones, roast them for about 4 hours before you’re ready to begin the soup. I placed beef soup bones and about 1/2 cup of water in my roasting pan and baked them at 350 F degrees for about 3 1/2 hours.

3. After the meat has cooled a bit, I start cutting and slicing. I save/freeze the roasted bones to make broth down the road.

4. You can add the broth from the roasting pan to your soup, or freeze it in a glass jar for future use. This is essentially beef broth. Sometimes I freeze a cup or two and then when someone’s feeling under the weather I can pull out just a small amount.

5. When your ready to assemble the soup, pour the broth into a large pot over medium heat. Scoop out any fat that has hardened in the broth and place it on a skillet over medium heat. You’ll use this to saute your veggies.

6. While the broth and fat are heating up, go ahead and cut up your veggies of choice. Because we’re low-carb and anti-candida, we typically include 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 leek, and 6 (or more) cloves of garlic.

7. Saute your veggies until crisp tender, or however you like them. I love when the onions get browned and just start to caramelize. I have to make myself stop nibbling. I could eat them like candy!

8. Add the veggies to the broth along with the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, basil, and oregano.

9. Simmer until warmed through. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 15 cups. If your veggies consist of 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 leek, and 6 (or more) cloves of garlic your net carbs come to 1.95g per cup.

P.S. Well, have I convinced you to give broth-based soups a try? Really. You gotta try it.


Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.

Shared at: Crumbs & Chaos, Butter Believer, Healthy Home Economist, The Prairie Homestead, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Lines Across My Face, Skip to My Lou, The Girl Creative, Home Savvy A to Z, DIY Home Sweet Home, Sarahndipities, 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven, Marvelous Messy, Delightfully Dowling, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Whole New Mom, Real Food Forager, Everyday Tastes, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, A Delightful Home, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Hartke is Online, Vintage Wannabee, Blessed With Grace, Juliecache, At Home With K, Confessions of A Stay-At-Home-Mom, Simply Gluten & Sugar Free, Rook No. 17, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Blue Cricket Design, The King’s Court IV, We Are That Family, Frugally Sustainable, Gluten Free Homemaker, Crystal & Comp, Sugar & Dots, The Stuff of Success, Day2Day Joys, The Thrifty Home, This Chick Cooks, The Nourishing Gourmet, Simply Sweet Home, Life As Mom, Whipperberry, Real Food Whole Health, Shabby Nest, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Premeditated Leftovers, Real Food Freaks, Creation Corner, Mom Trends, Serenity Now, Nourishing Treasures, Tip Junkie, Coastal Charm, Whipperberry, Far Above Rubies, Celebrating Family, Food Renegade, Chef In Training, Flour Me With Love, The Modest Mom Blog, Growing Home, Living Oil Lady, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, Comfy in the Kitchen, Little Natural Cottage, Our Simple Farm, S8KWRMQSPRH9

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I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 18 years, mother of five, reluctant cook, full-time teacher, chocolate-snatcher, and children's author. Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher'. I don't have initials after my name, a degree in anything but motherhood, or a framed certificate on my wall. What I do have is a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. Oh, and I also might mention homesteading, homeschooling, fitness, herbs, faith, and anything else I'm thinking about. . . like wow, I need to refill my tea. . .


  1. Paula says

    Hi Debbie,

    Wow, your Sunday night carnivals look great – I've already got several I want to try!

    I'd love to contribute to your carnival – thank you for the invite. I'll see you Sunday. :)

  2. Debi at Life Currents says

    This sounds great. And, I'm just getting over a cold. Of course, I'd make it vegetarian. :) Found you at Sunday Night Soup Night Carnival. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food says

    Hi Paula, thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I'd love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe!

  4. KarenLynn@Lil'SuburbanHomestead says

    I agree that homemade broth is beautiful and Weston Price's site is a wealth of information I use it to explain to people that butter and animal fats are not the enemy that they are made out to be! Very informative post!

  5. Kim says

    Hmmm… I'm all about the Mediterranean Diet, so I'm glad to find more people who are trying to live off whole foods… we need more people like this! This soup looks great, I love when you get to scrape the fat off the chicken broth, something magical about that… and the gelatinous texture as it pours out into the pot.

  6. Jen says

    I used to have colds that lingered for days . . . Now that I use homemade broths it is knocked out in a day or less! As a matter of fact, yesterday was one of those days where I was really under the weather. I drank 3 mugs of chicken broth throughout the day and today I am ready for battle. :) Great post!

  7. Anita Husevåg says

    A grate recipe! I will definately try it out.
    And it also was a grate idea to have a soup night tradition. I love soup, so I migth just think about making it a tradition for us to!

  8. Paula says

    KarenLynn – yes, when we open our world to fats and butter we realize what we've been missing!

    Kim – you're right, pouring thick gelatin into a pot just makes me feel good for my family.

    Jen – so glad you are feeling better. I love being able to find remedies that our ancestors used for years. It's too bad so many have been lost over the years.

    Anita – I really think you're going to like it. Both the soup and the tradition!

  9. Paula says

    Clairejustine – thanks for the invite – I'll try linking it up this week!

    Jill – You're welcome and thanks for a great blog hop!

  10. Barb @ A Life in Balance says

    This looks yummy! I've started making stock at least once a week this fall, and then I'll make soup with some of the stock.

    Are you using regular jars to freeze the broth or the Ball Freezing Jars?

  11. Paula says

    Hi Barb,

    I use any jar I can find :). I started with Ball quart size canning jars (not the freezing jars, just your ordinary canning jars) and then moved up to glass gallon jars that I got from a restaurant – they were gallon jars for green olive jars that they were just recycling, so I was able to get them free.

    I use the gallon jars for storing flour, grains, and all sorts of pantry items.

  12. Sarah says

    While I was in the UK the kitchen had a huge pot with a spigot at the base for making vegetable broth. Any and/or all vegetable scraps were tossed into the top, and clear vegetable broth was dispensed out the bottom. Onion skins alone made a wonderful brown colored clear broth.
    I would think you could add this into stock as well.

  13. Paula says

    Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by!

    You're right, onions add immense flavor to stocks, broths, and everything really. I never make my stock without them.

    I'd love a big pot with a spigot. I could refill a mug and sip it all day!

  14. Jenn Erickson says

    Wonderful post, especially during these chilly winter months. I'm spotlighting your post on my Facebook page today.

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  15. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  16. nurofen says

    It's a very refreshing feeling to eat soup during winter season. It is also a recommended diet for people who have colds and flu. Aside from this diet, it is important to take your medicines on time to get the potency you need to combat certain illnesses.

  17. Emily says

    Cartilage and other parts of the bones of (chicken or beef) contain minerals and other elements that can be used by our body to maintain healthy. Broth on the other hand is a perfect food for winter.4rx

  18. flu remedies says

    The broth soup sound delicious. This is a perfect food during winter season. It's a good thing to eat hot and delicious broth soup during this time. I will be making my own version of soup this week.

  19. Anita says

    Broth soup sounds very delicious. This can be a very good food during cold season. I can still remember the time when I had a flu. I ate a soup which was cooked by my mom, and it gave me a good relief. What's best is that, it cured my sore throat because of its soothing effect. Now I can say that the broth soup can be lined up among the best sore throat remedies today.

  20. says

    Great post. I bookmarked it. I love to make my own broth, even if I have to use store bought chicken.
    Nothing beats home made broth.

    Do you skim off the fat like a lot of people do, or do you keep it with the broth?

    Have a wonderful Friday!

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