A soup for the sneezers

By John Owen | May 30, 2013

We can only hope that the residents of Edmonds have passed through the season of The Big Cold.

No, I'm not referring to the kind of cold people have experienced in places like Mandan, North Dakota or Havre, Montana, measured in wind chill factors.

I'm more concerned about the sneeze factor I have noted around us.  It seems that 80 per cent of friends and/ or neighbors have been laboring through nasty coughs which lasted not hours or days but most of the winter and on into spring.

One possible explanation is the large senior population in our cozy and friendly community.

The absence of nose rings is one logical consequence, prompting a medical alert.  It was the topic of an article I read in a health publication.

It seems medical evidence suggests you can reduce or avoid illness if you will only remember to keep your hands away from your nose.

Kissing isn't liable to give you a cold unless you sniff at the same time and why would you do that?

Colds are caused when rhinovirus lodges high up in your nasopharynx.  And it is usually directed in that area by the hand.  So wash your hands during the cold season and keep them away from your-know-where.

The problem is we forget and absent-mindedly rub, scratch or probe forbidden recesses.

Aha, but there is a way to remember.  Wear a ring in your nose, the bigger the better.

In fact a miniature copy of Big Ben might be appropriate during the cold season. A warning gong would sound when you approach the forbidden area with a wandering hand.

For those of you who can't, or won't wear rings, hope is faint.  Yet we can reduce the length and severity of the common cold by eating, and in haling, lots of chicken soup.  Jewish mothers knew best.

Scientists add that chicken soup containing garlic or strong spices might help even more in relieving cold symptoms.

My contribution to medical science avoids nose rings.


Chili Chicken Soup


2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces

2 onions

celery tops

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Italian herbs

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 minced cloves garlic

cayenne pepper to taste

5 stalks celery, chopped

5 carrots sliced

2 green peppers, seeded and cut into one-inch cubes

1 cup dry noodles


8 cups chicken broth


In a pot cover the chicken pieces with water.  Add a quartered onion and celery tops. Bring to a boil, then let simmer five minutes.

Cover the pot, turn off heat and let chicken sit in this bath for an hour.  Let cool, then remove and discard chicken bones, skin and onion. Cut up chicken meat and return to pot.

Let the pot ingredients cool in refrigerator overnight.  The next day skim off the thin layer of chicken fat and discard.

When ready to cook put a cup of the chicken broth into a soup pot.  Add the chili powder, Italian seasoning, cumin and garlic. Boil one minute then add the rest of the reserved chicken broth.  You should have about eight cups of broth.

Add the carrots, celery and one chopped onion, green pepper pieces and cook in the broth 20 minutes.

In a separate saucepan cook the noodles in boiling salted water.  Add the cooked, drained noodles and salt to taste.

This should make 10 bowls of Jewish penicillin.

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