Whenever cold or flu season hit my Mom always made a Ceylon curried chicken rice noodle soup that was comforting and cozy. This immune boosting turmeric lemongrass soup is a take on a curry soup I ate during childhood. This curried coconut soup is loaded with ingredients that are said to boost your immunity including lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and hot spices that are sure to clear your sinuses!
It is also filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich veggies like kale, carrots, and tiny tomatoes that are infused with broth and burst in your mouth with each bite. A touch of Jaggery rounds it out with a hint of balanced sweetness. Chicken and sauteed anchovies add a rich depth to finish out this soup to satisfying perfection. This is the soup that you’ll crave if you ever get the sniffles or just want something homey and warming to enjoy on a chilly day.
Soups like this hearty chicken curry noodle soup are ideal for quick and nutritious meals when you are trying to stay in. You can use pantry ingredients and even frozen veggies and frozen chicken.
*Please note that this cold season soup can be made vegan or vegetarian by simply eliminating the protein. If you leave out the chicken and anchovies the rest of the ingredients that make up this soup are vegetarian. For a vegan version, just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Furthermore, if you prefer extra brothy soup that is free of carbs, leave out the rice noodles. See recipe notes for more details.
Please Stay Home!
I have always had severe asthma. When I was fourteen years old I got the flu, which led to pneumonia that caused me to flat-line for 20 minutes. I have literally died from flu causing pneumonia 4 times in my life. So this COVID-19 pandemic definitely has me worried. I am part of the category of people with underlying conditions that could possibly lead to pneumonia and even death if I catch it. Grim as that may be, this blog gives us a chance to connect with each other in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. With that said, I encourage all of you to stay inside and practice social distancing responsibly for the sake of the world and all of us who want to stay part of it.
Also, please remember to thank those that cannot stay in like the people that are still delivering food and packages, refilling medication, stocking the stores and warehouses, courageous cashiers, restaurant workers, police and EMT. And of course, a special thank you to all the healthcare workers, sanitation specialists, and everyone fighting this and caring for everyone. You are all amazing and deserve so much respect and recognition.
Immunity Boosting Spices
As I mentioned, this Ceylon curried chicken rice noodle soup is filled with fresh ingredients that are said to boost your immunity and sometimes ease cold and flu symptoms temporarily.
When we are sick we often turn to chicken noodle soup. This immune boosting turmeric lemongrass soup is a full bodied, spicy, flavorful, and Sri Lankan version of chicken noodle soup.
Ginger has strong, natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. Ginger is said to be an immune boosting super food. It has long been used as an ingredient we turn to in hopes it will get rid of the flu or a cold faster and to fight chills and fevers.
Turmeric is a go-to ingredient to boost immunity when trying to avoid catching colds, flus, and viruses like COVID-19. According to doctortaz, It has been shown that turmeric stimulates your immune system to fight drug resistant strains of the flu. Golden Milk is a turmeric based childhood drink that we also drank during cold season.
The ingredient in curry powder that is thought to kill bacteria is curcumin, which is found in turmeric. Read more here on “How curry spice helps the immune system kill bacteria”. Since we’ve all got some extra tie on our hands, try making my Mom’s special Ceylon curry powder for this soup!
A dash of cayenne is also used in this chicken curry soup. Cayenne is also said to boost immunity and helps with nasal congestion.
Jaggery is an unrefined sugar used in Sri Lankan and Asian cooking and baking. It is also said to boost immunity and be more nutritious than refined sugar.
And Even More Immune Boosting Fresh Foods
Garlic is another ingredient that has long been used for the active compound of Allicin it has. That is thought to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Lemongrass is native to Sri Lanka and South India, so you find it in many dishes. Studies have shown that lemongrass may prevent infection, decrease inflammation, boost red blood cells, and more. Read more here. Additionally, lemongrass adds a distinct and lovely flavor to savory dishes like this Immune Boosting Turmeric Lemongrass Soup.
Vegetables like kale, carrots, and tomatoes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. for health.
Anchovies are rich in fatty acids. They also lend a rich flavor depth to stews and recipes like this Immune Boosting Soup. Check out all the health benefits of anchovies here.
The broth for this hearty immune boosting soup is made up of chicken stock (or vegetable stock). It has an addition of full fat coconut milk, which is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
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Ceylon Curried Chicken Rice Noodle Soup
This curried coconut soup is loaded with ingredients that are said to boost your immunity including lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and hot spices that are sure to clear your sinuses!
- 1/4 cup ghee or olive oil or coconut oil (divided)
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast thinly sliced (OR TOFU)
- 2 anchovy filet packed in oil and finely minced (OPTIONAL)
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2/3 cup sliced carrots
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 inch piece if ginger finely minced
- 1 lemon grass stalk cleaned and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon curry powder homemade or store-bought
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 tablespoons jaggery or brown sugar
- 1 whole star anise
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 curry leaves or bay leaves
- 1 can coconut milk shaken well
- 1/2 cup mini tomatoes
- 1.5 cups kale chopped
- 6 ounces rice noodles
- salt to taste
Chop onion, carrots, garlic, ginger and lemongrass.
In a large pot set over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add onion, carrots, and ginger. Sauté for 7-9 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add spices, bay leaf, and tomatoes and cook for an additional minute.
Then add garlic and lemongrass and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar. Then pour in chicken broth. Stir in jaggary (or brown sugar). Turn to simmer.
Meanwhile, thinly slice chicken breasts. Note that if you freeze them briefly for 15 minutes, they will slice up cleanly and easily. Then finely dice up the anchovies. Don't rinse. The oily fish adds subtle flavor!
In a sauté pan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add sliced chicken and anchovies. Cook until browned, 6-8 minutes. Then add to the soup.
Add the kale and stir. Simmer while you cook rice noodles according to package. Go with al Dente, so take a minute off cooking time.
Remove the star anise and bay leaf. Then drain noodles and add to the soup. Stir and serve.
*Add salt to taste after the soup is ready.
To make this soup vegan or vegetarian, simply switch the chicken for tofu and eliminate the anchovies. And swap out chicken broth for vegetable broth.