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Grandma's Recipe For Fighting The Flu

Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorBack in the mid 90s, researchers decided to put Grandma's chicken soup recipe to the test.

The study was done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In it, Dr. Stephen Rennard tested his grandmother's actual recipe used for generations to keep the family healthy -- or ease the symptoms if a family member did catch a bug.

It was a great study, since it showed that chicken soup actually does help ease the misery of illness. In other words, there is more than simple psychology involved here.

Dr. Rennard's group believes it is the combination of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and other good stuff that does the trick.

A second study, as if we really need one to confirm the wisdom of grandmas, was done in 2011, and found the same result.

It's believed that many a recipe of chicken soup is effective -- even some commercial products out of the can.

But for the sake of feeling better physically and psychologically, here is the actual recipe as used in the original study:



1 5- to 6-pound stewing hen or baking chicken

1 package of chicken wings

3 large onions

1 large sweet potato

3 parsnips

2 turnips

11 to 12 large carrots

5 to 6 celery stems

1 bunch of parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to boil.

2. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Boil about 1 and a half hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates.

3. Add the parsley and celery. Cook the mixture about 45 min. longer.

4. Remove the chicken. The chicken is not used further for the soup. (but makes for good eating.)

5. Put the vegetables in a food processor until they are chopped fine or pass through a strainer. Both were performed in the present study.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note: This soup freezes well.)

Matzoh balls were prepared according to the recipe on the back of the box of matzoh meal (Manischewitz).


When finished consuming a bowl or two, have grandma kiss your forehead. That will always help you feel better.

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