Instant Pot Chicken Soup – A Hearty and Veggie Filled Soup To Keep Your Immune System Strong During Cold n’ Flu Season

Nothing beats a warm bowl of chicken soup. I’ve been cooking up lots of deliciousness in my instant pot and this delicious chicken soup did not disappoint. 

Plus, it was just what my boyfriend needed while he was sick. He ate up every last bite and it helped him bust through his cold (now let’s just hope that I don’t catch it!).

So what’s the deal with chicken soup and colds anyways? Well, you’ve got an amazing blend of sulphur from onions and garlic that help your body detox, plus you’ve got the incredible amino acids and vitamins from the broth, and hearty protein from chicken. 

Not to mention all the amazing nutrients from veggies. I find it’s always so easy to add in a mix of veggies to soups. I used your typical carrots, onion and celery in this recipe, but also added in some butternut squash and an entire bag of spinach. Hello cold busting vitamin C!

Although this recipe only took 12 minutes in total to cook, you do have wait for the pressure to come up, which took at good 15 minutes x 2 – as you’ll see in the recipe below. 

But, it was worth the wait. And the chicken turned out amazing! Fall apart, tender chicken that tok this out to a whole other level. 

I used chicken thighs, which I often cook with over chicken breast, as it’s much more tender due to a higher fat content. Now don’t freak out about the fat. It’s a good thing – especially if you’re buying organic chicken or pasture raised. Those fats are not only delicious, but great for your hormones. 

Did you know your hormones need fat to function? Yes they do! 

Hope you enjoy this instant pot chicken soup as much as we did! It’ll hit the spot on those cold winter nights. Ugh… winter – I’m not a fan. Is it summer yet?? The summer countdown is on – only 5 more months!

Instant Pot Chicken Soup
Serves 6
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  1. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fresh, not frozen)
  2. 6 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  3. 3 tablespoons Vital Proteins grass-fed unflavored gelatin powder
  4. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  5. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  7. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  8. 4 celery stalks, chopped
  9. 3 carrots, chopped
  10. 1 package Go-Go Quinoa Spaghetti (or any other gluten free spaghetti brand)
  11. 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  12. 11/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more for serving
  1. Place the chicken thighs in your instant pot.
  2. Add the bone broth, gelatin powder, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and turmeric.
  3. Secure the lid, set your pressure valve and select manual setting. Set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. When the 10 minutes is up, quick release the pressure. Remove the chicken, cut into bite-size chunks, and return it to the instant pot.
  5. Add the celery, carrots, spaghetti (split into 3 - just simply break with hands), parsley, thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Secure the lid again, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot with extra lemon juice if desired.
  1. *Add in some spinach at the very end and stir in to wilt. It's a great way to get in extra vitamin C.
  2. *Cooking the pasta - I cooked mine for HALF the time it would normally take. The package says 8 minutes, so I went with 4.
  3. *Depending on the noodle 'length' you prefer, I broke my noodles into 3, but half would work too.
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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Part 2: Cold and Flu Prevention with Mary MacDonald, ND-Take the Right Supplements & Heat Up w/ Homemade Chicken Soup

Welcome to Part 2 of our Cold and Flu prevention strategies! Mary has listed some great recommendatoins below and included a great chicken soup recipe! Enjoy!

Supplementation Recommendations to Boost the Immune System: DO NOT supplement without speaking to your Naturopathic Doctor first – these can be dangerous to some groups!

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids – omega 3 fatty acids have been found to balance the immune system by balancing production of important white blood cells, called T cells. These cells are the most important for strengthening the immune system in its role of fighting colds bacteria and flus.

Probiotics – a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that: “Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea (nasal dripping), and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age.” Pediatrics 2009;124:e172–e179

Vitamin D – new research has found that vitamin D is very important in proper immune system development and functioning. Vitamin D has a profoundly positive effects on your innate immunity, the portion of your immune system that acts as your first line of defense, protecting you from anything foreign, whether your body recognizes it or not. This is the part of your immune system that would be involved in keeping you from getting sick in the first place. Vitamin D helps to suppress the release of “pro-inflammatory cytokines”. These substances are an important part of your immune system’s reaction to a bug, as they help to create the inflammation that results in symptoms which will help you more quickly rid yourself of the bug and return to a state of health. However, things were a bit different with H1N1. While symptoms in most people who caught H1N1 appeared to be minor, there was a subset of people (mostly young healthy people) who were severely affected. The process involved in these cases has a lot to do with these pro-inflammatory cytokines, as they are behind the massive over reaction (termed a “cytokine storm”) that leads to the lungs shutting down. Vitamin D suppresses this action.

  • 80% of North Americans have been found to be vitamin D deficient as a result of concern over the increased incidence of skin cancer from UV rays. It is best to have your vitamin D levels checked before beginning wth supplementation.
  • Vitamin C – Extremely important anti-flu virus remedy. Always consume vitamin C supplements along with a natural source of it, like organic oranges.

If you do pick up a cold or flu bug, here are some suggestions:

  • Make an appointment with your friendly Naturopathic Doctor! I will be able to prescribe specific his and/or hers nutritional supplements depending on the symptoms you present with.
    • Fluids, fluids, fluids. Fluid intake is very important: flu sufferers lose more fluids from fever than they think. Drink water & vegetable broth to replenish. Chicken soup works great too!
    • Sleep. Your body is probably telling you to sleep anyway – listen to it! Lack of proper sleep might have been what got you into this situation in the first place, and lack of sleep certainly won’t help you get out of it.
    • Food. Even though you may not feel like eating, adequate nutrition is essential to feeling better and recovering more quickly. Again, chicken soup not only helps keep the fluids up, it is easy to digest and has been shown to have anti-viral, antibiotic and decongestant properties. Two servings of homemade chicken soup is recommended. See recipe below.
    • Minimal exertion. Even if you don’t feel like sleeping, it’s far better to stay in bed and relax than trying ineffectively to take it easy at work (and no one wants to catch the flu from you, either).
    • Take dairy out of your diet for the duration of the cold/flu – dairy especially will increase mucus production and make the mucus thicker. This in turn will make it harder for you to expel mucus from the respiratory tract
    • Bathe in hot water with soothing essential oils such as chamomile, lavender and rosemary – make sure you drink lots of liquids while bathing
      • The hot water will help to promote circulation throughout the body
      • These essential oils promote rest as well
    • Ginger: boil water – add slices of fresh ginger root or 1 tsp freshly grated root; let steep 10 minutes; drink a warm tea lightly sweetened with honey. Ginger is fabulous for promoting circulation in the body. It is also warming, soothing to the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract and will lessen the duration of a cold or flu.

Chicken Soup Recipe for Colds and Flu

  • 1 small (5lb) chicken* or leftover carcass of large whole chicken, with bones & skin (protein, amino acids)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (blood cleanser, liver tonic, vitamins C and B6, selenium)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil (oleic acid and other fatty acids help control cholesterol, vitamin E, phenol antioxidants, benefits for colon, heart, and liver)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (alpha- and beta-carotene, vitamin A, fiber)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 large onion, chopped (flavonoid antioxidants, blood cleanser)
  • 2 cups chopped red potatoes (B vitamins, carbs, potassium)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Spice options: Thyme, Dill, Cilantro, Curry, Tumeric 1-2 tsp each or any to taste

Cut chicken into two or four pieces, place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and remove the fat that accumulates on top. Add the spices, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Cook on medium-low for about 1.5 hours. Remove the chicken and pull the meat off of the bones with a fork (remove the skin and any skin remaining inside the pot). Pour a little olive oil on top before serving.

* Organically grown chicken is preferred.

Hope you and your family stay healthy and warm this winter season!

Prevention is Key! 🙂

You can book a consult with Mary at:
Holly Pharmacy
611 Holly Avenue – At Derry Road
Milton, ON L9T 0K4
T: 905.878.9001
F: 905.878.9916

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