Lately I have been feeling a bit under the weather, actually who am I kidding, a LOT under the weather.
When feeling chilled, achy and overall miserable, nothing sounds better than curling up in the softest of soft pj’s, under yummy blankets and having a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup (while watching your favorite chic flick of course).
Another “perk” that comes with being a migraineur is that most of us cannot have a that warm bowl of soup brought over by a loved one who wants to help us feel better. Most of us are not even able to have a homemade soup that is made with stock (good grief, even when the stock is “low sodium” or “organic”) without triggering…a…migraine. And honestly, who wants to trigger a migraine when you are already feeling poorly?
Let me tell you, after multiple trials, I have come up with a super easy (I am not kidding, this is SO EASY) and yummy recipe. I promise, most of you will really love this soup; you will be curled up begging a loved one to please bring you just one more bowl (and your loved one will enjoy it every bit as much, probably more so because he/she is not sick and miserable).
Quick notes re: migraines and soup:
1. We all have different levels of sensitivities I am very sensitive (thus I have to make it from scratch, again as I wrote above, this recipe is ridiculously easy and delicious). However, some of you can get away with soup from a restaurant, or made from a store bought stock. This is just my experience, based on what I have learned over the past 20 years (and it may help some of you).
2. In general, soup has quite a bit of sodium and MSG. Both are migraine triggers. When you buy a pre-made soup, there are probably going to be higher levels of sodium and MSG than if you make it at home (also, when you buy it, watch out for other added preservatives, which are also most likely migraine triggers).
3. When you make soup at home, I suggest using a broth or stock such as Swanson’s low sodium chicken broth (which still has plenty of sodium, it is delicious, I promise) or the better choice is Pacific organic free range chicken stock.
4.I have tried it all, believe me, and ended up with a migraine every time. The best option for me has been the Pacific organic free, but it still led to a migraine.
5. I use chicken with bones. The bones add such good flavor and nutrients. However, they also add tyramine which is one of the main migraine triggers we have to watch out for. Over time, as the migraines have become less severe, I am able to tolerate more liberal diet. If you are still very sensitive: make the broth, cook skinless chicken breasts separately (shred the cooked breasts) and add them to the soup later.
***You will notice that I use shallots in almost all of my recipes. That is because they are migraine friendly substitute for onions. They are still in the onion family, but have less sulfates. Onions are pretty common migraine triggers, shallots are pretty safe. I use a lot of them in the chicken noodle because any onion has healing properties when it comes to colds***
***You will also notice that I use cayenne pepper in most of my recipes. Some leaders in the alternative medicine community believe that it helps with migraine headaches (I will try it)***
8 Stalks of celery chopped
1 Pound carrots chopped
6-7 Shallots chopped
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp dried tarragon
1 Tbsp Pepper
1 Tbsp light salt (I use light salt–if you use regular, go with the same measurements and adjust seasoning at end)
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Whole Chicken with skin and bone (we got this from grocery, in poultry section, already separated and packaged, you can go to the poultry counter and ask them to separate a whole chicken if you prefer, however, I was feeling too rotten to stick around for that) I do not cook the heart/liver/gizzards
Chop the veggies
Pour about 2 Tbsp of olive oil into a large pot and add shallots; cook on medium-low until translucent (about 3-5 minutes)
Add carrots, celery, tarragon, rosemary, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and stir until the spices/herbs are well mixed with the veggies
Cover all ingredients with water (I should have counted cups, but it is simple, just keep pouring cups of water into the pot until the water covers the chicken–I like to cover it and have ~ 1 inch of water extra/over the chicken)
Bring to a boil and then cover (with lid slightly ajar) and simmer on low for ~ 3 hours. Stir every 30 minutes
You will know the soup is ready when the skin and chicken literally fall off of the bone as you stir. At this point, take a bowl or plate and put it beside the stove top. Literally stir soup and scoop out bones and skin. You want to get all of the bones out of the soup.
****NOTE: Chicken bone are DANGEROUS for dogs/pets to snack on, they break easily and are often fatal so PLEASE make certain that your pet does not snack on chicken bones****
We have found that egg noodles are the very best with chicken noodle soup (in our opinion). These are NOT gluten free so you may need to work around that.
Cook the pasta in a separate pot. If you cook them in the chicken soup, they will absorb all of the soup broth and you will end up with a mess (I have done that, trust me, it was a huge disappointment).
I usually cook the entire bag of egg noodles (it takes 7 minutes) and we have the soup all week.
So, you will have your noodles and then just add soup on top. It is delish.