FERGUS FALLS, Minn - The estimated 20 people, who went for the flu shot at the local clinic, were sent home with a can of chicken soup and a pack of tissues. Nick Mariotti, the supervisor, said the idea started out as a joke when he and his staff learned they had to cancel the clinic because of the shortage of flu vaccines. So he bought a case of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and a bunch of tissues and told nurses to keep them at the front desk and hand them out to people who walked in for the flu shot. "Most left with smiles on their faces", he said.
Well, after all chicken soup is the traditional Jewish cure for everything! It is the Jewish equivalent to penicillin; they say that the first chicken soup was made in the poor communities of Russia, where poultry was the only affordable meat.
You don't have to be Jewish to make chicken soup! I still remember my grandmother in Italy going to great lengths to prepare this, rather economical, dish.
I can still picture her spending hours on the ritual of skimming the fat off the top and stirring the golden liquid to perfection. She used to say that the soup should cook a minimum of three hours, and then the fat must be skimmed off when the soup has cooled down. Finally, the mixture should sit for 24 hours before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.
Chicken soup is well-known for its healthy properties. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center in America, researchers found that chicken soup (even when diluted with water) has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe cold-ridden stuffy noses and sore throats. Beyond being rich in protein and vegetables, it's widely believed that chicken soup acts as a placebo because it is generally prepared as a type of comfort food that warms one's insides.
To this you can add the Chinese, the Poles, the Greeks and even some top Chefs in some exclusive London restaurants. They can't all be wrong, can they?