Chicken soup and tea for a cold

A little hello from the kitchen
Attention, hot and liquid – cold cures from the kitchen

Only tea and soup help with colds. Our author thinks they should be of the best quality.

Well, have you ever? Or do you still need it? Developing a cold, I mean. There are supposed to be people who can’t catch a cold. I’m not part of it. Several hundred euros that the pharmacists earned thanks to me taught me that nothing helps against a cold once it has set in. The householder insists that I simply eat kilos of oranges. Unfortunately, fruit is the last thing I crave when I have a cold. Too wet. Too cold. Too crazy.

When the sore throat set in just before Christmas, we agreed that he would squeeze the oranges for me. As I stared at the glass of juice, a realization dawned on my limp brain: Liquids are the only sane culinary response to a cold.

Yes, okay: “Drink a lot when you have a cold!” You’ve probably read it somewhere. But I’m not talking about you picking up that dusty packet of cold tea from the back wall of the cabinet, where it’s stuck thanks to a layer of honey and cooking grease.

If you have tea, drink it sensibly – this also applies if you don’t have a cold. With a loose black tea from a specialty store you can do something huge for little money, I think. And black tea is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, so contrary to popular belief, it is recommended for sore throats.

I drink a very round, soft and at the same time sweet black beer. I bought it in a small store in Saxony-Anhalt. Unfortunately the label only says “Persia TGFOP” (the alphabet salad stands for the quality of the leaves) which left all the Düsseldorf tea traders I asked about it rather perplexed . I found it online with no problem.

If you hate tea and are more of a lemonade type, make yourself a ginger-lemon infusion and sweeten it with honey. (I take stevia because I’m afraid of diabetes.)

In writing, the hit is OMI tea – which means orange, mint, ginger. Why do hot drinks work? Because they disinfect something, keep the mucous membranes moist and anesthetize a little – in the case of ginger with the pleasant painful stimulus of pungency.

However, man does not live on tea alone. Even if the cold does not exactly whet the appetite. Nothing beats chicken soup when you’re sick. Sorry dear vegetarians, I would love to make you mushroom soup, but for me it has to be poultry.

It has long been suspected that chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect. This has never been properly proven. Either way, it makes your nose run – which can be a blessing for sinus congestion.

But what fascinates me more than the question of whether chicken soup is really “Jewish penicillin”, as they say in the United States, because Jewish mothers always treat their children copiously with it when they are sick, c is the manufacturing process itself. For a broth like this to be good, you need a sensitive bird, a lot of vegetables and a lot of patience. Neither is necessarily within reach when you’re lying on the couch surrounded by used tissues. Before the start of the cold season, it would be a good idea to freeze five to ten liters of stock and enough finely chopped toppings – but who does that?

Instead, during my last cold, I produced a pretty good chicken soup in three-quarters of an hour with reasonable effort: two organic chicken thighs, coarsely chopped vegetables (onion, carrot, celery – this last one I had frozen in cubes) and a glass of chicken broth I bought, plus water and cook some white wine, salt and pepper in the pressure cooker for half an hour. Drain the broth and simmer for ten minutes with the diced vegetables and some noodles. The taste of three-hour work.

Incidentally, these liquids are particularly effective against colds thanks to a magic ingredient called “human attention”. Hach, how corny – but that’s how it is: The fact that you feel better when a nice person makes tea or soup may be due to the placebo effect – but it’s still the plain truth .

culinary column At this point, our author writes weekly about shopping, cooking and life in Düsseldorf. Paid content You can find another episode here. Please send your suggestions to