The Best Soup For A Cold Isn't What You Think

Cold got you down? Any mom will race to tell you one of the oldest tricks in the book: Kick it to the curb with a steaming hot bowl of chicken noodle soup. But let's be honest — not everyone has someone at home cooking for them, and the last thing you want to do when your head is pounding and your nose is running is slave over a hot stove. In reality, most sick days are spent cuddled up with a can of lukewarm Campbell's chicken noodle.

While chicken noodle soup has rightfully earned its place as a comfort food classic, believe us when we say you can nourish your body even more by ditching the microwave entirely. Instead, enter homemade egg drop soup: the superior, budget-friendly cure for all of your sniffles. The best part? It takes barely any time or effort to whip up, and the payoff is just as great as your usual go-to!

Egg drop soup is an easy way to get nutrients in when you're sick

Chicken noodle soup is a sick day staple because of two main properties: its nutrients and its temperature. According to Dr. Carmela Sosa, Valley Children's Healthcare medical director of primary care in California, the steam from a hot liquid like broth can help relieve some nasal congestion. Dr. Sosa also says that chicken noodle soup is a great way to get protein, veggies, and carbs in for some extra energy when you're under the weather.

That being said, you can easily get the same benefits without having the same boring soup each day that you're stuck on the couch binge-watching everything from The Walking Dead to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Don't feel like dealing with raw chicken, but want the added protein that comes with a homemade soup? Swap the meat with a few large, protein-rich eggs. Then toss in your regularly scheduled veggies, pour some stock over top (bonus points if you meal prepped it back when you were functioning and sneeze-free), and you'll be well on your way to restoring those electrolytes.

Spice up your egg drop soup to shake a cold

One pro of egg drop soup is that the variations are endless. When you're ill and struggling to taste anything at all, chicken noodle soup can seem super bland — why not spring for something rich and flavorful instead?

If you're craving more and your runny nose just won't quit, try out Spoon University's Ginger Curry Egg Drop Soup. The combination of the spicy curry, fresh ginger, and steamy broth makes for a great sick day staple, especially since studies have shown that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties (via International Journal of Preventative Medicine).

Itinerant Chef offers a versatile recipe for an egg drop soup based off of a "soup tea" broth, which she defines as a stock with "a little life to it." Another useful tip from Itinerant Chef is to add some rice wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar to your broth, and maybe even top it with some hot sauce for an added sinus shock. That way, you'll really get your taste buds — and yourself — working again!