The Healing Qualities of Soup–Found Art

I once wrote and article that was published and published and published just like soup rewarmed through-out a week. Today I came across a blog post that showed just why soup is so healing. Journey Mama has a wonderful blog that warms my heart, often and this time she has posed on how to clean out the fridge. She made soup!

Intention in a Bowl

(Originally published by Inspired Times, republished by the Marquette Food Co-op and Munising News)

By Kim Elizabeth Nixon

The windows are fogging over and I find myself in front of the chopping block. To my right, on the big gas burner, is a pot of soup stock to which I will add minced garlic, chopped carrots, fresh herbs, and lemon. I have pulled from the refrigerator and cupboards all the possible ingredients, spreading them out wide on the oak kitchen table. I think of what is troubling the members of this house, and our community. Who is troubled over unmade decisions, the sniffles and cough, worries over loved ones? Who is in need of peace, of healing?

Cutting carrots, I recall the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, who talks about daily practices as paths to meditation and a means to awareness. I think of my need to pull out the big blue pot, to bring comfort to those around me, and to bring my own thoughts to a center.

As a child, I would sit at the small kitchen table and watch grandma make the weekly pot of soup. Leftover veggies would go into a large container in the freezer and later combine with diced cubes of last Sunday’s ham and chopped cabbage. When the soup cooled, we would go visit the ill, homebound and out of work, passing out mint-green and blue Tupperware bowls with clear lids. I think it was Grandma’s way of dealing with the insecurities of life, her way of both finding and sharing hope. I can recognize now that she, too, was in need of healing.

I am aware of the studies that acknowledge boiling chicken produces proline, an amino acid that reduces inflammation, that the warmth of broth helps clear sinuses, and that psychologists now feel the “warmth and homeliness” value of homemade soup adds to the therapeutic effect. They say chicken soup can even improve memory and help prevent blood clots.

Laughingly, I read a report by Dr. Abraham Ohry and Dr. Jenni Tsafrir called, “Is Chicken Soup An Essential Drug?” which proposes that chicken soup fits the parameters of the World Health Organization’s Action Programme on Essential Drugs, which states that a drug is considered to be essential if it is “as relevant today as it was 20 years ago.” The doctors defend chicken soup as fitting the basis of four principles: a drug must be evidence-based, efficient, flexible and forward-looking

Chopping onion, paying attention to how thoughts arise and pass into the aroma and steam rising from the pot, I begin to feel lighter. Tension held in my jaw relaxes and I start to smile. I know chicken soup is therapeutic. The love and intention that prompts us to mince garlic and squeeze lemon infuses the pot of soup with healing. The sharing of soup spreads hope.

I warm French bread in the oven. Put a stick of sweet cream butter in the butter dish. I pull out my elephant soup bowls; they are deep and perfect for holding in two cupped hands while sipping broth. When your bowl is empty, an elephant, “the remover of all obstacles” when viewed as his Hindu God form, Lord Ganesh, greets you. Ancient healing. I await my family’s return home.

Kim’s Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2lbs. boneless skinless (hormone free) chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ cup of carrots
  • 1 ½ cup of celery and leaves
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • Minced ginger to taste
  • ½ bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • Fresh rosemary and/or lavender
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  •  ½ bag of egg noodles (or more if you wish, adjust broth)
  • 2 qts. of organic chicken broth
  1. Simmer chicken in stock (or broth) in covered stockpot until tender.
  2. While chicken is simmering, chop celery, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger and parsley. Set vegetables aside in a bowl – keep parsley separate.
  3. Remove chicken from stock; cool enough to handle.
  4. Cut chicken into strips, using a bowl and two forks.
  5. Return chicken to broth.
  6. Add vegetables and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add parsley, rosemary and noodles; simmer uncovered for 6-7 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

You can vary your favorite chicken soup recipe to include therapeutic ingredients depending on the condition of your loved one.

Wind-Cold Invasions

With a wind-cold invasion a person will have chills and fever, but the chills will predominate. There may be headache, sneezing, cough, and runny nose with clear discharge, neck and shoulder aches, aversion to cold, and white tongue coating.

Use foods that promote perspiration:

  • Ginger
  • Scallions
  • Chilies
  • Coriander
  • Cabbage

Heat-Cold Invasions

With a heat-cold invasion, there will also be chills and fever, but the fever will predominate. There may be sore throat, runny nose with thick yellow mucus, red tongue body w/ yellow coating. This condition can worsen and result in nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, abdominal bloating, irritability, and strong thirst.

Use foods that promote cooling:

  • Bok Choy or Celery
  • Mushroom
  • Spinach or Chard
  • Turnip or Potato
  • Carrot

About kimnixon

Upper Peninsula Michigan Artist and Writer

Posted on March 10, 2008, in Abundance, Holistic Health and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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