Skip Nav

A Latina Herbalist's Immune-Boosting Sopa de Pollo Recipe

This Latina Herbalist's Healthy Sopa de Pollo Recipe Will Warm You Up

tmp_P4jAsm_d1904133a0306435_JulietDiaz_ThaisAquinoPhotography45903.jpg

Image Source: Thais Aquino Photography

As the temperature begins to dip to the lower digits, many people being to experience seasonal sicknesses, from sore throats to nasal congestion. Many Latinx families have their own special remedio caseros (homemade remedies) that have been passed through generations, like Taíno Cubana bruja and author Juliet Diaz, who enjoys preparing a sopa de pollo (chicken soup) passed from her great-grandmother during the winter months to boost immunity. Diaz intentionally practices traditions that honor ancestors who embody her today, and she believes that through cooking meals and living her truth as a curandera and Seer, she reclaims her ancestry's power, wisdom, and magic as a tool of liberation.

"My go-to is kitchen recipes like my great grandmother's chicken healing soup that many Cuban people make when we feel sick. My ancestors live through me, and through me they feel joy, they feel loved, and they will claim back everything that has been taken from them through this very vessel of mine," Diaz said in an email with POPSUGAR. "We are not walking alongside our ancestors, we are our ancestors. They are helping us remember and through remembrance we are able to find ourselves, heal deeply, decolonize, and bring honor to our Spirit."

Diaz believes it is a form of spiritual activism to stand in your power with those that came before you, as she shares her knowledge in her books including Witchery, Plant Witchery, and most recently, The Altar Within: A Radical Devotional Guide to Liberate the Divine Self, which is full of practices, rituals, and spells pulled from Indigenous ancestral knowledge that focus on decolonizing spirituality in the path to self-discovery. Diaz comes from a family line of curanderas and knows how the healing benefits of this sopa have withstood the test of time. The flavorful broth of this sopa de pollo will soothe the throat and hydrate the body. The chicken, fideo (noodles), yuca, and potatoes will keep the body full and satisfied with protein and carbohydrates, while veggies like onions, garlic, and carrots bring vitamins C and K and antioxidants into the immune system. When imbuing remedios like these with spiritual intention, it can create a healing that goes beyond the body as we remember ancestors who used these same ingredients for their own survival and care.

"Reclamation is a powerful key to tackling the obstacles in the way of you finding self-love and deep healing. Being able to accept and acknowledge yourself wholly. It allows us to find peace within ourselves, care for ourselves more intimately, and live our best lives." Diaz said. "Reclamation also means coming back to community care which people have forgotten the importance and power of. This is how our ancestors lived, in community, caring for each other, and we must find our way back to supporting, uplifting, and showing up for each other, especially in a world that constantly tries to erase us."

Ingredients

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Stovetop

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Pour

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Bubbling

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Sopa de Pollo

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Closeup

Image Source: Juliet Diaz

Sopa de Pollo

Barbarita Perez, Lidia Rosa Mejia, Maria Dolores

A Latina Herbalist's Immune-Boosting Sopa de Pollo Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1 bunch green onions, chopped
    1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
    3 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1 whole peeled and cut white onion
    2 tablespoons cumin
    2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    8 cups chicken stock
    4 cups water
    7-8 chicken thighs (with the skin and bones on as this adds flavor and nutrients)
    2 yuca peeled and cut
    2 red potatoes, unpeeled and cut in half
    2 ripe, cooked plantains
    1 cup spinach
    1 cup thin noodles
    2 cans plain tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
    1 packet Sazon with achiote (adds color and a bit more flavor) optional
    3 large carrots chopped
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, add the chicken, onions, carrots, tomato sauce, potatoes, salt, Sazon packet, pepper, garlic, turmeric, cilantro, cumin, olive oil, yuca, chicken broth, and water.
  2. Stir and cover. Leave until it reaches a heavy boil. Then drop heat to medium low simmer and cook covered for 45 minutes.
  3. After 45 minutes, use tongs to take out the chicken and any skin that fell off.
  4. Cover the pot on low simmer while you use two forks to pull the meat off the bones, then add the meat back to the pot.
  5. Add lemon juice and oregano and thin fideo; make sure to break them in smaller pieces.
  6. Cover and bring back to boil for 10 minutes until the fideo is soft.
  7. Serve and garnish with cilantro.
Latest Latina