sick day soup

Sick Day Soup - aka Japanese Penicillin

This soup brings good old chicken soup into the millennium with Japanese influence via miso and a dose of nutrition packed kale.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 12 cups (2.8 L); serving size 2 cups

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: healthy soup, Jewish Penicillin, sick day soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Makes: 12 servings
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 8 cups (2 L) Chicken Stock, either homemade or low-FODMAP purchased version, plus extra if needed
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, you could use bone in or out. Bone in gives more flavor
  • 2 cups (134 g) shredded raw kale, large ribs removed
  • 1 1/2 cups (105 g) shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup (36 g) finely chopped leeks, green parts only
  • 2 bell peppers, preferably red, cored and cut into bite-sized strips
  • 2 medium carrots, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 parsnip, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2- inch (5 cm) piece of peeled fresh ginger root, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce
  • Miso, we like South River Miso Three Year Hearty Brown Rice Miso
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Place chicken stock, chicken thighs, kale, cabbage, leeks, bell peppers, carrots, parsnip, ginger root and soy sauce in a big stockpot. Make sure there is enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients; add more if needed.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down and simmer covered for at least 1 hour; feel free to simmer longer if desired to further meld flavors.
  3. Soup is almost ready to serve. Simply fish out the two pieces of ginger and remove the chicken bones, if used. Shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the soup. Taste and correct seasoning. You might want a bit more soy sauce or you could add salt and pepper but remember that the miso you are about to add will also increase the saltiness. We think this soup improves after being refrigerated overnight. This would be the step where you would cool the soup and then refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat before proceeding.
  4. If you are going to be serving out of the pot to a crowd, then you can add the miso to the whole batch. What we like to do is ladle the soup into individual bowls and pass the miso. Each person can add a good dollop - about a tablespoon - to their serving and stir it into the hot soup to incorporate. If you are seasoning the batch with miso, start with a half cup, taste, and adjust from there.
  5. You can certainly eat the soup as is, but you can also add cooked rice, quinoa or noodles, if you like.

If You Can Tolerate

Fructans: If you have passed the garlic fructan Challenge we strongly recommend that you add at least 3 chopped garlic cloves to the soup before simmering.