Some of the best recipes are the ones we invent ourselves. This is my new go-to flu season soup, and it’s the healthiest, heartiest meal ever created by human hands. To make it any healthier, I’d have to serve it with a side of GNC vitamins.
The black bean rotini is available at Trader Joe’s. If you use regular pasta, your body will not absorb the corn’s nutrients (corn contains digestion-resisting starches, so you need the fiber from the beans to keep those corn calories from being stored as fat).
I made the chicken stock from a leftover carcass and some veggie ends – i.e., the parts you can’t eat, like celery stumps and onion crowns. This stock was frozen for about six months and tasted great.
No stock? No problem – just use broth. The stock just gives it some added nutrients, but you’re going to cook your chicken and veggies in it anyway, so the broth will absorb from those.
I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but you do you. Once the chicken is cooked, you’re going to shred the meat and discard what’s left, anyway. In fact, if you haven’t made stock, you might want to use bone-in so your soup will be more flavorful and nutritious.
The chicken sausage is also available at Trader Joe’s, and it’s the last of the “specialty” items needed for this recipe. It’s best to use the chicken sausage as opposed to regular sausage because 1) it’s less fatty, and 2) chicken contains immune-boosting nutrients that pork does not.
The rainbow veggies don’t just look pretty; different colors indicate different chemistry present in the vegetable, meaning that they each contain different vitamins and nutrients. By using multiple colors, I’ve ensured that this dish satisfies a range of dietary requirements.
I’ve left some leeway with the spices – garlic, ginger, and turmeric – because I love strong flavors, but I know that not everyone does. I didn’t actually measure these out when I made this soup, but I roughly used the high-end amount of each. For example, I used a buttload of turmeric because it’s great for boosting that immune system and it has a relatively subtle flavor. If you’re really nervous about catching flu, you could dump in another couple of teaspoons into the mix without overwhelming the other flavors.
Finally, add salt, pepper, and hot sauce according to your own needs and tastes. Again, I didn’t measure how much hot sauce I used. Rather, I opened the bottle of Sriracha and squeezed twice. That’s probably, I don’t know, 2ish tablespoons? That was just enough spice to get our noses running a bit without detracting from the other flavors.
Please let me know if anything in this recipe is unclear, or if you think it may be unclear for novice cooks. I made the soup for the first time last night and wrote the recipe in a state of semi-consciousness, so it’s likely imperfect.
NOTE: This recipe makes a TON of soup – almost two gallons. Eat some and then freeze some so you’ll have it on hand in case you do get sick.
- 12 oz. black bean rotini
- 6 quarts chicken stock
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 spicy Italian chicken sausages, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 cups corn
- 1 large head broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 inches ginger root, grated
- 1-2 Tbsp. ground turmeric
- salt + pepper
- hot sauce (optional)
- Cook pasta as directed. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, bring all other ingredients to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer.
- Once chicken breasts have cooked through, remove them from the pot and shred the meat. Return shredded meat to soup.
- Salt and spice to taste. Let simmer an additional 30 minutes.
- Add pasta just prior to serving. *Keep leftover noodles separate so they don’t get soggy.