Chicken Noodle Immune Soup

Here is a new twist on an old favorite: chicken noodle soup.

I wanted to share my favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with you. This recipe is from my book Natural Remedies for the Fall. Made with rice noodles, this recipe is gluten free and packed with herbs and foods that nourish the immune system. It is a great soup if you’re fighting off a cold or flu, or anytime you want a delicious bowl of comfort – for both body and soul.

immune soup


  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1–2 large chicken breasts or 2–3 chicken thighs, chopped small
  • In a small muslin bag add together: (2 astragalus roots (.3 0z.), 2–3 slices reishi mushroom (.2 oz.), 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (.2 oz. dried), 1 bay leaf)
  • 1/2 cup dried nettles
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 2–3 tablespoons fish sauce (to taste)
  • 1 can whole coconut milk
  • 4 handfuls de-stemmed spinach or 4 cups coarsely chopped watercress
  • 8-10 oz. dry, flat rice noodles (I use Thai Kitchen)

How to Make It:

  1. Using a large soup pot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat, adding the muslin bag of herbs.
  2. Add the chicken, nettles, ginger, carrots, and onion. Boil on high for 1 minute, and then turn heat down to medium and cover with a lid. Allow soup to simmer for 5—6 more minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Remove from heat and allow noodles to soak 5—8 minutes, or until soft but still chewy (“al dente”). Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking.
  4. While continuing to simmer the soup, add the cayenne, garlic, lime juice, shiitake mushrooms, and fish sauce. Stir well. Remove the muslin bag of herbs.
  5. Turn heat down to minimum and add the coconut milk and greens. Simmer for 1 minute and stir well.

To serve, place a generous mound of noodles in each bowl, top with the hot soup, and enjoy!

© Elaine Sheff, Clinical Herbalist 2013

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