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Jewish penicillin—as proven as the real deal.

Winter is coming, or what we Houstonians like to call winter. But it’s true, we have passed the summer solstice and sadly, our days are getting shorter. And with September just around the corner, the runny noses, headaches, and sore throats follow close behind. My mom—and almost every mom—always turned to chicken soup, the best home remedy, as soon as cold season began. But we don’t always have our moms, or the time, to make a hot bowl of soup. Luckily, Houston’s restaurants have our backs with a wide variety of delicious chicken noodle soup. And with this long spate of rain, some comfort may be just the key to get through the day even before the real cold hits.

Chicken Avgolemono @ Niko Niko’s

This lemon-chicken soup, voted “Best in Houston” by the Houston Press, never fails to warm you up. The Greek version of chicken noodle soup features chicken and rice, with a hint of lemon, and carrots and other vegetables. A side of pita and an extra slice of lemon come with, but make it the ultimate comfort food meal by adding some baklava, a true Greek classic. Eat at one of four locations, or order for take out and enjoy in the comfort of your own bed.

Chicken Tortilla Soup @ El Rey Taqueria

For most Houstonians, Mexican food is synonymous with comfort food. And when you’re sick and tired, a gustatory hug is just what you need—exactly what this classic brings. The soup is made with rotisserie chicken cooked in the store, corn, avocado, tomatoes, cheese and jalapeños, all topped with crunchy tortilla chips. El Rey has four locations around Houston, and you if you're not feeling public-ready, you can also order to take out.

Pho Ga @ Pho Binh

Pho is a Vietnamese soup typically composed of beef broth with rice noodles and meat, and served with bean sprouts, basil, jalapeños and lime on the side. Pho ga, pho with chicken broth instead, is a traditional soup that is easy on the stomach when you’re sick. Choose between light and dark meat, and even add Sriracha sauce for an extra sinus-clearing kick. Both the Heights and Cypress locations offer delivery services—perfect for when your cold, or the cold, keeps you from leaving the house.

Chicken Soup Elixir @ Kenny & Ziggy’s

My Jewish grandmother loves to feed me, especially when I'm sick, and Kenny & Ziggy’s chicken soup with matzoh balls does the job when she is not there. Choose between matzoh balls, rice, golden noodles, kreplach, or a “mishmosh” of all four to mix into your chicken noodle soup. Owner Ziggy Gruber calls it “Jewish penicillin” for a reason: This soup does just the trick when you’re feeling under the weather.

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