When my wife or I have colds, I whip up a pretty mean, if basic chicken soup that simply rests on making a very strong chicken broth and then adding either rice, soup pasta or egg noodles.

I always try to keep chicken stock around, and when I'm running low, I make up a new batch. I generally start with assorted bone-in chicken pieces -- either wing tips, backs and necks that I've saved from when I was using other dishes that don't call for those parts, or else a package of thighs or wings from the grocery store -- bring to a boil in plenty of water to cover, with a teaspoon of salt, a half-dozen peppercorns, a whole onion (skin left on to give color), a couple of smashed garlic cloves, and sometimes, depending on mood, a chunk of fresh ginger, a peeled carrot, and/or a couple of stalks of celery. Bring to the boil over high heat, skim off as much as possible of the scum that rises to the top, then reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered, for an hour or more. Strain off the broth and let the fat rise to the top. (Ideally, I do this overnight in the refrigerator, which results in a clear, jelly-like stock beneath a white disk of fat that I can easily lift off and discard.) There's not much nutrition left in the veggies and meat by this time, so I generally discard the vegetables and bones and let the cats eat the chicken meat; however, if you're making this for immediate use as a cold remedy, you can make a heartier soup by shredding the chicken meat and adding it back to the broth.

Check the defatted broth for seasoning, and if it seems to be a little thin (unlikely, unless you used too much water), reduce it some by boiling. I freeze it in one-cup portions so I can thaw as much as I need, when I need it, for use in recipes or soup. To make a traditional cold remedy, bring a cup or two to the boil, stir in previously cooked rice or noodles until heated through, and serve. Or you can cook the rice or pasta IN the broth.