DIY Recipe: Cathy’s Cure for the Common Cold

StudioFoodioOrange CathyHeck_ChickenSoup1

This is Jewish Penicillin with a Greek accent made by an Episcopalian. I prescribe it to anyone who catches a cold. Over the holidays, the poor pitiful patient was me … I caught a dastardly cold, and then, I passed it on to all of my fellow family members. (And, I promise, I was taking precautions to cough into my elbow and everything!) But, alas, our family cold passed from sister to dad to sister. Once I was perky again, however, and my youngest gal was a sniffly mess, I put on my Dr. Mom scrubs and went to work on my sure-fire cure for the common cold: Cathy’s Feel Better Chicken Soup. Secret ingredient: Lemon.


CathyHeck_ChickenSoup3 When we lived in New York, a friend from Greece served us Greek Chicken Soup. It was very comforting, as chicken soup should be, but more so, its lemony accent gave it a wonderful flavor, as well as adding a nice shot of Vitamin C to supplement its curative powers. A few years later, I bought the cookbook, New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neill, which was full of great recipes from the neighborhood chefs of New York. And, lo and behold, there was an entire chapter on the chicken soups of New York City, from Jewish delis to family recipes … one of which was Katherine Polyzo’s Avgolemono, a Greek classic. I gave it a try, and sure enough, it was exactly the same as the Greek chicken soup we had loved. And we have been making it ever since, especially when someone catches a cold. Or, an alergy. Or, even a sneeze.


When I am preparing this for grown-ups, I use every ingredient in the recipe, but when I am making this for younger patients, I occasionally receive some complaints about the green things … and the orange things.  So, in order to get some healthy broth into the tummies of your littlest patients, I recommend this: Prepare the soup using all of the vegetables in the recipe, (extracting all the great taste and the vitamins from the vegetables) and then just take them out before serving your little ones.  Everyone is happy.
Click here to download a free downloadable recipe page.  You can collect them and put them in your own recipe binder, or try this one we created for Tapestry by C.R. Gibson.

Not only will this soothing soup make your patients feel better, but it is a great gift for under-the-weather friends, or even just a “Yep, it’s still winter” present for someone you love. I filled my Feel Better Fast basket with two jars of magic chicken soup, and the ingredients for my other cold cure: hot tea with lemon and honey.  Feel free to add a mindless movie or two.  (My nostalgic memories of some oddly happy sick days wouldn’t be complete without a few episodes of Bewitched.)  Finally, throw in a few oranges for Vitamin C and color, and, now, you can just pop on your red riding hood and run it over to granny’s.



  1. Louisa February 22, 2010

    Yum!!! Although no one is currently snarfly, I am adding to my shopping list right now – and can’t wait to try the soup. Doctor Cathy’s Preventive Maintenance!

  2. ellen February 22, 2010

    I am going to make some right now!! Well, first I have to drag myself to the grocery…but then I am going to pamper myself with soup and a movie. :) Thanks for giving me permission!!!!

  3. Lindsay February 22, 2010

    I love Greek lemon chicken soup! I’ve made it three times this winter – every time Jason and I have been sick! I recommend making it with this super easy and fast molasses wheat bread:

  4. lisa February 25, 2010

    OK so what can I say, Soup- made and presented by Cathy herself.It was so yummy and I feel much better today. It must be a cure. I will be making it myself as soon as I am 100% better. Thank you so much Cathy.

  5. shari February 26, 2010

    Jewish mother hints: if you don’t plan to serve the veggies, just scrub them and put them in the pot whole (even the onions, skins and roots on!) They are much easier to fish out and the nutrients from the skins might have some benefit. Also, my mother never liked the orange color produced by boiling carrots, so she uses parsnips in the cooking phase then switches them out for carrots at the end. The parsnips make the broth sweeter too! I can’t wait to try the lemon touch.

  6. Rhiannon April 20, 2010

    I would love to try this recepie but I cant download the link, do you have this posted somewhere else or can you email it to me?

  7. Author
    cathy Heck April 20, 2010

    Rhiannon, I am so sorry you had trouble downloading … I just checked it and it is downloading here, so you might try just dragging it to your desktop and then printing it. I will also be happy to email a copy to you right now. Enjoy. Cathy

  8. brenda May 12, 2011


    I made your chicken soup before and loved it. I didn’t print it and can no longer access the recipe. Can you please e-mail it to me? I’d be soo grateful. I want to make it for my dad, he is very ill. I tried to find it on my own and can’t find it (at least not one that’s as good as this one).


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