Chicken Soup–It’s Not Just for the Soul! {with “speech snacks” for /s/ and /ch/}


Nothing is more comforting when you are feeling under the weather than a bowl (or two) of homemade chicken soup.  I can remember this remedy being a magical elixir for me many times throughout my life.  Luckily, I had a mom who instinctively knew when a bowl of homemade soup was in order.  As a child, it got me and my sisters through many cold and flu seasons.  As a young adult, I can remember returning home from college for a quick weekend visit and walking in the door greeted by family and the familiar, comforting aroma of mom’s chicken soup.  As a parent, with a family of my own, I have been lucky enough to have this wonderful recipe passed on to me—and it has come in handy on many occasions—for my child— and my husband who becomes a child when he is feeling sick!!  This holiday season (and cold and flu season) I am passing on the gift of Homemade Chicken Soup to all my viewers.  I hope it comforts and warms your heart and soul as well as your ailing body the next time you are in need of a natural healing cure! 


Enjoy this fun tune: ” Chicken Soup with Rice” written by the amazing children’s author Maurice Sendak and put to music by the voice of  Carole King—it may bring back childhood memories for some of us!!  Have your kiddos sing along with you as you practice the /s/ and /ch/ sounds together!!! 

Can Chicken Soup Really Cure the Common Cold???   

When properly prepared, chicken soup is loaded with valuable nutrients. This includes:

Chicken: Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, a substance released when you make soup. This amino acid is similar to the drug acetylcysteine, which is prescribed by doctors to patients with bronchitis. It thins the mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough out. And hot chicken vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in clearing out the cold in your nose.

Carrots: Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene.  The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

Onions: Onions, another chicken soup regular, contains quercetin, a powerful anti-oxidant that is also a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory.

***While chicken soup isn’t a cure for a cold, it does help  alleviate some of the annoying symptoms that come with it.  And, if nothing else, it definitely is a delicious, comforting  meal that helps keep your body hydrated.

The next time the cold bug has you down, stay warm, get a lot of rest, and get your mom (or some other kind soul) to make you a big pot of homemade chicken soup!!


Fill a pot 3/4 full with cold water. Add two large, raw chicken breasts—(bone and skin on) to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste, 3-4 cloves garlic–smashed, but not necessary to mince, one onion, chopped, half of one stalk of celery–including the leaves. Bring ingredients to a boil. Lower to a simmer and continue to simmer on low heat for three hours.   Be sure to use free-range or organic chicken if possible.  It is a higher quality product and will yield a higher quality soup!  After cooking for three hours, separate the liquid broth from the remaining ingredients by pouring soup into a colander or metal strainer.  You will be left with a clear, yellowish broth.  Discard the remaining cooked down celery, onions,. etc.  Keep the cooked chicken breast to add to the soup later.









Clean and chop the remaining head of celery and one bag of baby carrots or peel and chop 4-5 whole carrots. Add them to the pot of clear broth. Additionally, mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and one onion and add to the pot. Use organic vegetables when possible!!
















Measure out one cup of organic barley. Rinse barley thoroughly and add to the pot of soup. Barley does not need to be cook separately. It will cook along with the vegetables in the broth.















Cook soup on low, covered,  for approximately one hour. Check carrots for doneness. Additionally, you can add one small head of escarole greens (cleaned and torn into  pieces) to add even greater nutritional value (as an Italian American, escarole is a must-have in our homemade chicken soup!!)











Add pieces of chicken breast to your bowl of soup. Enjoy with some warm crusty bread.
































SPEECH SNACKS for /s/ and /ch/

Several posts ago, I wrote about Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Bark with speech snacks for /ch/—click here to learn all about placement and production of the /ch/ sound and tips and tricks for helping your child make this sound. 

  • Practice the /ch/ words CHOP, CHICKEN, CRUNCHY, KITCHEN, LUNCH
  • Practice the/ch/ phrases chop the carrots, chop the celery, chicken soup, cook the chicken, crunchy carrots, crunchy celery, soup for lunch, cook in the kitchen
  • Ask your kiddos, “What else can we eat with the soup?”  Help them with these /ch/ phrases:  soup with cheese,  soup and chips,  soup and nachos, soup and sandwich 
  • To practice the /ch/ in a short sentence: While making this recipe, say “Let’s check the chicken soup”  or “Should we check the chicken soup?”and have them repeat the sentence.  Since this is a slow cooking recipe, use this phrase often while you are waiting for it to finish cooking.

To incorporate /s/ into your Chicken Soup practice:

  • Try these /s/ words:  soup, celery, spoon, sick, stalk, salt, medicine 
  • Describe the soup with your kiddos—how it looks, tastes, smells:  i.e.: hot soup, salty soup, tasty soup, good soup
  • Explain all the reasons why chicken soup is good to eat to your kids (see the information in the beginning of this post)
  • Have your kiddo practice saying “stir the soup” ,“mix the soup”, “sip the soup” to address /s/ blends and /s/
  • Sing the song “Chicken Soup with Rice” and read the stories listed below to address auditory bombardment, which will help improve  your child’s production of this sound as they hear the sound use over and over again in words and sentences throughout the stories.

Here are some great  SOUP books to read with your kids!!!

Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak 

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas Treasury for Kids: A Story a Day
from December 1st Through Christmas for Kids and Their Families 




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