Chicken Soup For The Body And Soul

This wholesome chicken soup recipe is for that time of the year when people are starting to sniffle and sneeze and you’re doing everything you can to avoid picking up a nasty cold or case of the flu. Never fear! It is from our cold and flu dossier and makes 4 servings.


  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (3cm), grated finely 1 piece fresh turmeric (3cm), grated finely (If using dry turmeric, 1⁄4 tsp)
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1 liter water
  • 1⁄2 cup pearl barley, raw
  • 500g lean chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 250g mixed vegetables, peeled/ washed and finely diced (carrot, leek, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, etc)
  • 2 bunches fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Method of preparation

1. Combine the garlic, turmeric, ginger, stock, water, barley and chicken in a large pot.

2. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes over a low heat until chicken is cooked through and flavors have infused into the stock.

3. Add the finely diced mixed vegetables and continue to simmer until soft. Add soy sauce and coriander immediately before serving.

Did you know?

The protein component of the soup (chicken) provides essential amino acid building blocks for maintenance and tissue repair. Coriander, garlic, turmeric and ginger have been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to further boost your immune system. Click here to find out how you can treat a cold.

Nutritional information per serving: 

986kJ energy

31,5g protein

3,8g fat

14,7g carbohydrate

3,7g fibre

366mg sodium

So what’s the difference between colds and the flu?

While both forms of illness may circulate at the same time, catching a cold and getting the u are singular occurrences. Deepa Maharaj, Self MedicationAssociation of South Africa’s Technical Committee chairperson and a qualified pharmacist, explains: “It is important to understand that colds and influenza (flu) are different conditions. Colds are short-lived viral infections of the upper airway, while flu is a viral illness that occurs predominantly in the winter months in South Africa. 50% of colds are caused by one of more than 100 rhinoviruses, while flu is caused by one of the strains of two types of influenza (A or B). With flu, you need to take greater care in order to prevent complications, such as irreversible damage to your heart muscle.”

Dr Alain Sanua, a GP and holistic health practitioner in Johannesburg, describes the symptoms of each:


  • Congestion in the sinuses causing headache, postnasal drip and cough. This can become a bacterial infection if left untreated.


  • Fever, muscle or body aches and fatigue.
  • Picked up due to weakened immunity, most commonly as a result of stress, fatigue, exhaustion and overworking.

Click here to find out how you can treat allergy sensitivities.