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Chicken soup for the sniffles

Chicken soup recipe

When we were kids adults would often make us chicken soup to help us feel better. It would make us feel warm, full and sooth our sore throats so we could get some rest and get back to playing as soon as possible.

Today when we get a cold we remember that feeling of being taken care of when we were a kid. We want to curl up with a bowl of chicken soup and feel comforted with our symptoms momentarily eased. Turns out our instinct to reach for that familiar feeling is actually a smart thing to do. 

Chicken soup often contains onions and garlic which adds flavor but also adds phytonutrients which are vital for a well functioning immune system. Phyonuttients also help to reduce inflammation in the body which in turn can help ease the symptoms of the sniffles. 

Chicken is also rich in a compound called carnosine, some studies suggest this compound helps reduce that congested feeling in your nose and throat. It’s believed that carnosine minimizes inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. 

Next time you are feeling under the weather look no further than that old fashioned chicken noodle soup to soothe your symptoms, fill you up with nutrients and keep you warm and cozy. Stock up on these ingredients so when the sniffles come around you are well prepared. 

TELUS Health MyCare registered dietitian approved chicken and orzo soup recipe.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (to taste)
  • chopped fresh parsley (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Add olive oil and butter to a large pot and saute carrots, celery and onion over medium heat for 5-7 mins.
  • Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds, then mix in flour for 1 minute. 
  • Pour in the chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved. Add the Italian seasoning and chicken. Bring soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins. with lid on but slightly open.
  • Remove chicken from the pot (ensure it's fully cooked). Add chicken to a large bowl and shred/chop it up. Return chicken to pot.
  • Add orzo and cook for another 10 mins. Keep the lid off and stir frequently to prevent orzo from sticking to the bottom.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.


Our immune system and how the foods we eat can support it is complex. For personalized ways to support your immune system this cold and flu season book an appointment with a TELUS Health MyCare registered dietitian1. Speaking with a registered dietitian can provide evidence based tools to support your goals. 

1. Users must be 16 years or older to access dietitian appointments. Dietitian appointments are available for AB, BC, ON and SK residents. Dietitian appointments require additional payment of $120. Any payments for appointments must be paid using a valid credit card. An in-app receipt will be provided for you to claim for reimbursement if applicable.

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