"A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. "Much obliged," said he, pushing the plate aside; "I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills."--Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

Anita and Diane's Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe

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This recipe for Anita and Diane's Jewish Chicken Soup, by , is from The Wedding Cookbook for Jenna and Adam, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Diane Paul


One large frying or roasting chicken. Or even 2 medium chickens. I only use fresh free-range but it's because I'm afraid of salmonella, antibiotics and hormones in my food. I always ask the butcher to cut the big chicken into pieces for me because then I don't have to and it is much easier to make the soup and I ask her/him to reserve the chicken fat (the schmaltz!) if I plan to make Matzoh Ball Soup (see recipe for Matzoh Balls).

Make sure to toss any liver etc. or do whatever you want with it but for God's sake, keep it out of the soup.

1 very large Vidalia or other yellow onion, or even 2

2 pkgs. celery with tops

12 carrots; organic is best. If there is any soup left after the first serving, you can add more carrots.

2-4 medium parsnips (the check-out clerk in Tennessee always asks what these are. For those of you who don't know, ask the produce person. They look like big fat white carrots and they stink when you cook them. Gregory loves them. You can put more in if you want but I find too many makes the soup turn a little bitter.

1 big bunch of fresh parsley or 2 paltry bunches but no wilted, rotting parsley and don't put it in the pot with everything until I tell you to.

Kosher salt (this means big salt as in sea salt but if you really don't get it, just use regular salt. It's okay.
You don't have to buy the huge blue box of Manischewitz Kosher Salt but it will keep until the next generation.

I am going to go over this carefully so that my sons really know how to make this soup.

1. Get a big pot. Big as in a stock pot, big enough to hold two cut-up chickens plus tons of vegies.

2. Wash the chicken well in cold water. Put it in the pot.

3. Add water to the pot until about 2/3 full.

4. Peel onion(s) and throw in pot. You can cut them or not.

5. Wash and trim celery. Throw in entire 2 pkgs. of celery plus celery tops.

6. Wash and peel carrots and cut into halves. Throw in pot.

7. Wash and peel parsnips. Throw into pot.

8. Put on stove on high medium and cook, covered, stirring occasionally so chicken will not stick to bottom of pot and burn, thus ruining your soup.

9. Skim the soup every hour or so. Skim means to a) remove the fat that floats to the top and b) remove anything that looks "scummy" and the celery that will become wilted and colorless after four hours or so.

10. You want the soup to be at a good simmer until the chicken is cooked. The time involved is up to you, but I usually cook it all day, skimming occasionally and removing the dead celery.

11. Once the soup looks yellow and smells good and you are sure the chicken is cooked, taste it. If it is tasteless, you haven't slaved long enough over the stove. Let it cook some more. Throw in some more carrots and another onion if it has been four or more hours and the soup still has no taste. Don't add the Kosher salt until I tell you. Keep skimming the soup.

12. Taste it again. It should be better now. OK, now you can take the chicken and vegetables out of the soup (I use some tongs to get most of it into a colander in a bowl, reserving the drained broth in the bowl to put back in the soup--don't waste it.

13. For real chicken broth for Matzoh Ball soup, strain the soup through a fairly fine mesh strainer into another pot.

14. Wash the parsley well. The best way to wash parsley is to fill a bowl with running water and swish the parsley around until it is really clean. Now you may put the parsley in the soup. What I do, so that I don't have to strain the soup again, is tie up the clean parsley in cheesecloth, making a little bag. After a couple hours, you just grab the bag with some tongs or a spoon (don't burn yourself), press the broth out of the bag into the soup and throw the bag away.

15. Add some more fresh carrots to the soup, which has yes, been cooking all this time. Once those carrots are cooked:

Taste. Does it need more salt? Maybe or maybe not, but now, unless you are making matzoh balls, you may serve the soup, adding a couple carrots to each bowl of hearty broth.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
2 (in our house), 6-8 in other people's houses.
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
All day over a hot stove. The time varies every time I make it but usually it takes six hours min.
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
You may freeze this soup. When you thaw it, skim off the fat on the top and throw it out.

If you like, you can add water if the soup gets too concentrated. Anita likes to boil it down two or three times for the "double--or triple consomme."

Marc notes that kosher salt is good for frozen steps.




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