Chicken Soup For A Cold Recipe

is a chef, food photographer, cookbook author and blogger.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.

You can find my fine recipe for chicken soup for a cold in this post.

The soup is based on a newly interpreted TCM recipe and contains many spices and herbs to strengthen you.

TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Medicinal herbs and spices combined with a long cooking time create a particularly powerful chicken bouillon.

This broth has a strengthening and invigorating effect on colds and flu.

I wish you every success and, for once, a speedy recovery!

1. Recipe Chicken Soup For A Cold

Below are the step-by-step instructions for your kitchen.

You can send me cooking questions using the comment function at the end of this page.

I look forward to exchange and feedback.

Chicken Soup For A Cold

Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 4
Calories 192
Total Time 270 Min.
Preparation Time 30 Min.
Cook Time 240 Min.

Easy instructions for preparing chicken broth agains flu.

Rate Now!

5.00 from 539 ratings

Chicken soup for a cold recipe image
Chicken soup for a cold Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


1 Bunch Soup vegetables
1 Piece chicken
1 tsp primal salt
1/8 Piece cinnamon
1 tsp majoram
2 pieces anise
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp fennel (seed)
3 Pieces Allspice Pimento
7 Pieces juniper berries
3 Pieces black pepper
1 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp caraway seed
300 g noodles
1 Bunch chives


Soup vegetables for chicken broth in the pot
Soup vegetables for chicken broth in the pot

Prepare vegetables

Wash and prepare the soup vegetables.

Place the vegetables whole in the pot.

Shredded cut up chicken on the cutting board
Shredded cut up chicken on the cutting board.

Prepare chicken

Trigger the chicken:

–> First cut the legs.

–> Detach the breasts along the sternum.

-> Then detach the legs and wings from the carcass.

Chicken bones chopped on the cutting board
Chicken bones chopped on the cutting board

Chop carcass

Chop the chicken carcass into small pieces.

Chicken and vegetables in a pot
Chicken and bones with vegetables in a pot

Provide chicken

Place the chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, chicken wings and chopped chicken carcass in the saucepan with the soup vegetables.

Spices for chicken soup for a cold
Selected spices for chicken soup for a cold

Prepare spices

Prepare the spices for the chicken soup according to the list of ingredients.

Chicken soup meat with vegetables and spices in pot
Chicken soup ingredients Meat with vegetables and spices in pot

Provide ingredients

Place the spices and herbs in the pot with the remaining ingredients.

Prepare chicken soup
Put the chicken soup in a saucepan with water

Add soup

Top up the soup ingredients with cold water.

Boiled chicken soup in the pot close-up
Boiled chicken soup in the pot close-up

Cook soup

Slowly bring the soup to a boil over low heat.

Let the soup simmer for 1.5 hours.

Remove the cooked chicken breasts.

Let the soup simmer gently for another 4-8 hours.

Add water to the soup if needed, keeping the ingredients in the saucepan covered with broth.

Boiled chicken soup in the pot
Boiled chicken soup in the pot

Taste soup

Season the soup with salt and pepper and enjoy.

Alternatively, leave to cool.

Cooled chicken broth in the pot
Cooled chicken broth in the pot

Cool soup

Let the soup cool completely.

Cooked soup garnish on the cutting board
Cooked soup garnish on the cutting board

Remove ingredients

Remove vegetables and meat.

Prepare cooked soup garnish
Prepare cooked soup garnish

Release meat

Discard the meat and return the bones to the broth.

Chicken soup with fat eyes close-up
Chicken soup with fat eyes close-up

Cook soup

Let the bones simmer gently for another 2-4-6 hours.

Croissant Noodles
Croissant noodles in a bowl.

Prepare noodles

Prepare croissants or soup noodles.

Prepare a pot of boiling water and cook the soup noodles al dente according to package directions.

Boiled noodles as a soup ingredient
Boiled noodles as a soup ingredient on the sieve.

Provide noodles

Drain the al dente cooked pasta in a colander.

Soup garnish for chicken broth
Soup garnish for chicken broth on the cutting board

Prepare ingredients

Prepare fresh vegetables and cooked vegetables as well as meat and chives to add to the soup.

Chicken and vegetables in a pot
Sliced chicken and vegetables in a pot

Prepare insert

Place raw vegetable soup garnish and meat in a saucepan.

pass chicken soup
pass chicken soup

Pass soup

Strain the ready-made soup into the prepared soup garnish.

Chicken soup with chives in a pot
Chicken soup in the pot with chives close-up.

Boil soup

Boil the soup and cook the raw vegetable fillings until soft.

Add the already cooked vegetables to warm them up.

Add the chives just before serving.

Serve chicken soup when you have a cold
Serve chicken soup with vegetables and soup garnish.

Arrange soup

Arrange the prepared soup noodles in deep soup plates.

Complete with soup and soup garnish.

Chicken soup for a cold recipe image
Chicken soup for a cold Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt

Serve soup

Serve and enjoy the soup.

Bon appetit and get well soon.


2. Nutrition Facts And Calories

3. Spices For Chicken Soup For A Cold

Primordial Salt

The preferred salt in my soup is unpurified crystal salt or Himalayan salt.

In contrast to purified salt, crystal salt contains more than 84 minerals and trace elements.

Today’s table salt consumption is considered harmful to health.

Our white table salt is chemically cleaned salt and therefore pure sodium chloride.

Essential minerals and trace elements, referred to as impurities, are extracted from the natural crystal salt.

Pure sodium chloride, i.e. table salt, puts a strain on the body and the excretory organs.

Crystal salt or Himalayan salt is used in natural medicine for brine drinking cures.

For more information, please visit the website of Dr. medical Barbara Henkel on the subject of salt applications .

In addition to the salt, I always use some tamari or soy sauce as a secret ingredient .

The seasoning sauce creates umami fireworks and makes the soup appear more powerful.

Cinnamon – Cylon Cinnamon

We like to enjoy the spicy-sweet-aromatic taste of ground cinnamon in rice pudding.

We often use cinnamon as a spice for Christmas dinner, for baking christmas cookies and as an ingredient in tea.

Cinnamon is used alongside anise as an ingredient in the preparation of a Vietnamese Pho Ga soup .

From a TCM perspective, cinnamon tonifies spleen yang and stomach yang.

Cinnamon helps with loss of appetite, it is said to relieve abdominal pain, reduce flatulence and help with diarrhea.

Cinnamon can relieve nausea, it is considered a top ingredient to overcome cold.


The pungent, somewhat bitter and aromatic tasting marjoram is used in a variety of ways in domestic cuisine.

We know the medicinal herb as an ingredient in fried potatoes , roast duck and roast goose .

Fresh and dried marjoram go well with roast lamb and braised beef.

From a TCM perspective, marjoram regulates qi and eliminates wind chill.

It calms the mind and dissolves cold, supports digestion.

The medicinal herb has a positive and strengthening effect on influenza infections.

Star Anise

We know the pungent and strong-tasting star anise as an ingredient in gingerbread spice .

Used in moderation, it gives venison dishes and soups a fine aroma of liquorice.

The anethole it contains is responsible for the liquorice aroma.

Star anise has a warmer and sweeter taste, and is therefore finer and more harmonious than the well-known liquorice taste.

Star anise also tastes good to people who don’t like liquorice.

From the point of view of TCM, star anise has a warming effect and dampness has a dissolving effect.

Star anise is considered a top ingredient for relieving coughs and bronchitis.


We use the hot chili pepper in the kitchen as a fresh and dried pod.

The dried and ground spice is called cayenne pepper.

The name Spanish pepper is less well known.

Chili gives soups and stews , meat dishes and pasta a subtle spiciness.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, for example, only develops its typical flavor when chili is added.

From a TCM perspective, chili regulates Qi and moves blood.

It eliminates wind and cold, has a tonic effect on Yang and is said to stop and regulate bleeding.

Chili is the top ingredient for colds, fever, rheumatic diseases and it even helps with potency problems 🙂

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds taste hot and aromatic, have an effect on the liver, kidneys and stomach.

We know fennel seeds as an ingredient in fennel tea, the vegetables as prepared as fennel vegetables and fennel salad.

In Mediterranean cuisine, fennel is used in bouillabaisse and for a wide variety of vegetable dishes.

From a TCM perspective, fennel seeds warm the center, regulate Qi and harmonize the stomach.

It warms the liver and kidneys and is said to relieve pain.

It increases appetite, relieves bloating, upset stomach, abdominal pain and bloating.

Used in the right amount, it adds a subtle flavor and harmoniously rounds off the soup.


Pimenta officinalis has a hot taste and is also called new spice, clove pepper and Jamaica pepper.

It acts on the stomach, spleen and kidneys and is said to have a stomach-strengthening and metabolism-stimulating effect.

From the perspective of TCM, allspice has a warming effect and regulates Qi, helps with nausea and eliminates wind chill.

For the soup, I only add one to three whole grains so it doesn’t get too peppery.


Juniiperus communis has an aromatic, sharply sour and sweet-bitter taste.

The fruit acts on the kidneys, bladder, spleen, stomach, intestines, lungs, liver and heart.

We know juniper in the kitchen as an addition to sauerkraut and game dishes.

Pheasant and roast venison harmonize perfectly with juniper, and the incense is also said to drive away evil spirits.

From the TCM point of view, juniper eliminates wind-cold, dissolves wetness and dampness, tonifies Qi, drains dampness, dampness and heat.

If you don’t like juniper, leave the berries whole or cook the berries in a tea strainer.


The spicy-tasting pepper is one of the most important spices in our kitchen.

In the image below, chocolate pepper can be seen in its oblong shape.

Pepper has a digestive and stimulating effect.

From a TCM perspective, pepper has a warming effect.

It helps with stomach pain, indigestion and indigestion.

It is said to help with diarrhea and cold sensations and alleviate sore throats.

Finely ground pepper is hot and has a strong taste.

Added and cooked as a whole, it gives soups and sauces a fine aroma.


Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic, bitter-hot medicinal herb and spice.

Rosemary seasons meat dishes with beef and goes well with roast lamb.

Rosemary sprigs are a suitable brush for applying barbecue marinades when grilling .

Rosemary goes well with lemon.

The ingredients develop a special taste experience with the lemon chicken.

From the perspective of TCM, rosemary has a tonic effect on Qi and Yang, it eliminates cold and wind.

Rosemary is a secret ingredient for cold soup and helps with coughs and colds.

Mustard Seeds

We usually enjoy the spicy-tasting mustard seeds processed as mustard for bratwurst.

In TCM, mustard is described as regulating and moving Qi, warming and dissolving phlegm-cold.

Mustard seeds crushed with a mortar or mixed in the sauce develop a strong aroma.

A few grains cooked whole give soups and sauces a delicate taste.

Caraway seeds

Caraway is often found in bread, tastes good as a spice with fried potatoes, roast pork and soups.

Its taste is sharply sweet and reminiscent of anise.

In TCM, cumin is described as dissolving wetness and moisture.

It is said to strengthen the lungs and alleviate bronchitis.

More tips for adding medicinal herbs:

The well-known medicinal herb Mrs. Maria Treben describes yarrow tea and thyme syrup as an excellent remedy for relieving colds.

In any case, the addition of a little yarrow and thyme creates a fine taste in the soup.

The thyme aroma is more familiar to us than sharpening, it tastes a bit bitter and here less is more.

Overview of the spices and herbs used:

Chicken Soup Spices
Chicken Soup Spices and Herbs

4. Tips For Chicken Broth When You Have A Cold

The soup is made by the long cooking time and the addition of herbs and spices to the chicken soup according to TCM.

You can also start the preparation without meat and just cook the bones with the vegetables and spices for a long time.

In the recipe I do it the other way around.

I set up all the ingredients, take out the chicken drumsticks and chicken breasts when they are cooked.

This way you can detach the chicken thighs and wings, prepare the meat and put the bones back into the soup.

Sometimes I cook a chicken thigh or even two and wait for them to fall apart.

The soup becomes even stronger in taste and effect.

A cooking time of 3.5 hours is suggested as early as 1914 for chicken soup in Mary Hahn’s cookbook.

In terms of a long cooking time according to TCM, 4-12 hours is a good guideline.

The bones release flavor and collagen protein for about 7-9 hours, which dissolves in the broth.

Cooking here means gently simmering. The ingredients in the pot should always be well covered with liquid.

You can simply fill up with cold water and let the soup continue to boil.

When you have a cold, you often lack the strength for long cooking magic.

You can also prepare the soup, let it boil and take out the soup.

I often take the soup off the stove in the evening and let it cool down.

To cool the soup, place a ladle in the soup and leave the lid slightly open.

This allows the heat to escape. The next day I continue to cook the soup and take out the desired amount as needed.

My ingredients are easy to come by and a twist on the soup.

Common ingredients that are also used for a TCM soup are:

Common ingredients:

Bay leaf
Mace flower

Exotic ingredients:

Goji berries / Wolfberry
Chinese dates / Chinese jujube
Huang Qui
Chinese angelica
Lotus Nuts /Lotus Seeds

My grandmother from Bavaria often cooked chicken soup during the flu season and when she had a cold.

At that time there were no exotic ingredients and all the spices and ingredients described went into the pot.

In addition, she added the herbal tea she collected herself, lots of lovage and parsley to the soup.

The soup always helped and at least felt that it relieved and drove away the flu and cold.

Did you know?
Fresh parsley contains more vitamin C than lemon.
The citrus fruit contains 50 milligrams
vitamin C per 100 g,
Parsley contains 160 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 g.
Use fresh parsley and let it simmer briefly in the hot soup.

Vitamin C tip from chef Thomas Sixt
Finely chopped parsley
Finely chopped parsley
Chicken soup with chives in a pot
Chicken soup in the pot with chives close-up.

5. More Ideas For Soup

Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers

5.00 from 539 ratings

Below you can write to me directly.
Please don’t forget the star rating on the recipe, 5 stars means you liked it!