Creamy Chicken Turmeric Soup

Creamy Turmeric Chicken Stew

Maybe two healing soups in a row, especially as my first two blog posts, may seem a little redundant. But I’m going for it anyway because I’m told flu season is in full swing and not going anywhere anytime soon.  Y’all need some healing soup in your life. Also, I come from a long line of soup lovers and I’ve passed that down to my children. I’m always looking for more soup recipes.

Golden Milk

I was even brave enough to try golden milk after making this soup! It’s lovely – spicy like chai and subtly earthy.

While we were sick this soup casually popped up in my Pinterest feed and it had me at turmeric. I am always reading about how turmeric is “the most powerful herb on the planet”*, how it’s “benefits outweigh conventional medicine”*, and that we should all be drinking something called “golden milk”**.

I haven’t knowingly eaten or used turmeric, aside from my two recipes that call for curry powder, so I will admit I was hesitant to start using it in my cooking. Do you know what it’s like to labor in the kitchen and present a meal to your family only for it to be rejected?

I do. It’s not a feeling I like to repeat. So I mostly keep my experimenting within the boundaries of flavors I know we like.

I always keep onions, carrots, and celery on hand, especially in the winter for soups. All can usually be added on in the Local Pumpkin store if they aren’t in my box.

The first time I made this soup I didn’t have parsnips, so I just added more carrots and a russet potato. The potato was not necessary – dare I say not good. (If you want this soup but don’t have any parsnips, go for it! Just up your carrots.)

I could see why parsnips were a good fit for this soup with their slight sweetness. So I raved about this recipe to the Local Pumpkin team and a couple weeks later, parsnips and carrots came in my Local Pumpkin box. I knew that not only did I have to make this soup again, I also had to put it on the box flyer and blog about it.

I also always keep fresh rosemary on hand. In my humble opinion, there is nothing good about dried rosemary. It’s pokey and flavorless. And if you have fresh rosemary you could make the hit side dish I made to serve with this soup: garlic herb flatbread.

Herbed Flatbread

Once my soup was simmering I decided I needed a roll or something bready just in case my family refused this soup. A package of paleo baking mix I had been given caught my eye. I quickly mixed up the flatbread/pizza crust recipe provided on the side of the package and popped it in the oven. When it came out I brushed on a mixture of melted ghee, olive oil, minced fresh garlic, chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.

We all loved it and the kids were thrilled to be having “pizza” with our soup. I imagine any pizza crust recipe would work here or some warmed up pita bread.

Maybe being at home cooped up with sickness for 2 weeks made me brave to shake things up but this soup was a hit all on it’s own. This soup is comforting and warming like a good chicken noodle on a cold night. It’s mild, slightly sweet and creamy – sure to please many palates.

If you haven’t heard the hype about Turmeric, scroll past the recipe for a quick summary.

Creamy Turmeric Chicken Stew

Creamy Chicken Stew with Turmeric

Recipe adapted only slightly from Empowered Sustenance

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. parsnips, sliced 1/4-in. thick
2 c. carrots, sliced 1/4-in. thick
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1.5 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
3 c. chicken bone broth
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3 c. shredded cooked chicken (see note)

Instructions:

1. Heat a soup pot or dutch oven to medium heat and add oil. Add parsnips, carrots, onion, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes.
2. Add turmeric, oregano, garlic, salt and rosemary and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
3. Add broth, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until veggies and softened but not mushy.
4. Stir in coconut milk and shredded chicken, heat through. Serve as is or over cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Recipe note:   This recipe is great for leftover chicken. Sometimes I will bake several pounds of chicken breast to use in soups or salads throughout the week. Making a whole bird is also a good idea. If you did not plan ahead, only sauté the onions and celery to start. Then when you add in the broth, add your carrots, parsnips and about 1 lb. of raw chicken breasts. You may need a little extra broth to cover the chicken. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Pull out the chicken and shred or chop then add back into the soup with coconut milk.

What is all the turmeric hype about? Basically, it’s been used medicinally forever and now there have been 10s of thousands of peer-reviewed papers published about turmeric’s health benefits.

The magic of turmeric comes from a compound called curcumin.  Curcumin is most revered for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Chronic inflammation is a contributor to chronic diseases and conditions – from acne and psoriasis, to cancer, to Alzheimer’s and degenerative diseases. Turmeric can help prevent and treat.

Another culprit to disease? Oxidative damage from free radicals. Antioxidants in curcumin protect our bodies from those free radicals.

Turmeric can also help with wound care, arthritis, depression, heart disease, indigestion, and the list goes on and on. While eating turmeric, eat a some healthy fat and some freshly cracked black pepper, to increase absorption.

Want to dig in further? Check out these articles:
Top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric: The Spice of Life
6 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric Benefits
Simple Turmeric Tea (Golden Milk)

(Cooking with turmeric is generally considered safe, however, some medications react with turmeric. Please consult your doctor if you are on medication before you get wild with the turmeric.)

Creamy Turmeric Chicken Stew

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