News / Health

Some Swear by Chicken Soup to Battle Flu

Chef Afsaneh Atash makes a traditional Iranian chicken soup at Alborz, a Persian restaurant in Vienna, Virginia. (VOA/F. Elmasry)
Chef Afsaneh Atash makes a traditional Iranian chicken soup at Alborz, a Persian restaurant in Vienna, Virginia. (VOA/F. Elmasry)
Faiza Elmasry
During flu season, people often look to the kitchen, rather than the medicine cabinet, for relief.

Every culture seems to have its own healing ingredients. Some call for hot spicy sauces, garlic or ginger tea. But, for many, nothing comforts like soup.
 
Barley and noodle are just two of nine types of soups on the menu at Alborz, a Persian restaurant in Vienna, Virginia.

“The noodle soup is a real traditional Iranian dish," says chef Afsaneh Atash. "It’s basically a year-round dish, but you’re going to eat during the winter time though."

She serves her own version of her family’s traditional recipes; the basic ingredients are onions, carrots, cilantro, chicken broth and lemon juice.

Some Swear by Chicken Soup to Battle Flui
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
February 08, 2013 2:42 PM
During flu season, people often look to the kitchen, rather than the medicine, cabinet for relief. Every culture seems to have its own healing ingredients. Some call for hot spicy sauces, or garlic, or ginger tea, but for many, nothing comforts like soup. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.

“It has a lot of nutritious ingredients," she says. "It’s really good to eat it in the winter time because people are always getting cold.”

At DGS Delicatessen in Washington, D.C., chef Barry Koslow uses his grandmother's Eastern European recipe for chicken soup with matzo balls.

“Matzo ball soup is definitely a very traditional Jewish soup and you see many different variations of it," he says. "We start with a very rich chicken broth and we enhance that with onion, celery, carrots and garlic. We flavor it with a little bit of vinegar to bring a little bit of balance to the soup and salt and pepper.”

The centerpiece is the matzo ball.

“The highlight of the soup is, of course, the matzo ball, which is made with the matzo meal, eggs, schmaltz, which is chicken fat that’s melted," Koslow says, "and a little bit of baking powder to give it some airiness, seasoned with salt and pepper as well.”
 
The matzo ball soup is one of the restaurant's most popular dishes, according to manager Brian Zipin.

“Some people think that there is something in there that has healing powers," he says. "But like any great comfort food, you feel good when you eat it. You feel better, especially at this time of year, when it’s cold out.”

But does a bowl of soup have real medicinal qualities? For one customer named Mark, the answer doesn't really matter.

“My mother used to say even if it didn’t help, it certainly couldn’t hurt," he says. "And this is exactly the kind of thing that one needs.”

Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director of the Fairfax County Department of Health in Virginia, doesn’t believe soup can prevent the flu.

“Getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent influenza," she says, but she understands the appeal of certain foods. “We all have had grandmother’s chicken soup when we were sick.”
 
She explains why we feel better after having a bowl of soup or a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon.

“Honey and a little bit of lemon in water, hot water, might soothe your sore throat, for example," Addo-Ayensu says. "Those kinds of things are more soothing than anything else.”

It could be a combination of warm memories and fragrant nose-clearing steam that is the real secret behind the healing power of a hot bowl of soup.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid