- Our Homemade Chicken Soup!
Our Homemade Chicken Soup!
Who doesn’t love a bowl of hot, steamy, rich, flavorful chicken soup on a cold winter day?
A.k.a ‘Jewish Penicillin’, this delectable legendary marvel has been praised throughout the ages for its comforting and nourishing qualities; its healing powers said to help alleviate symptoms of just about anything - from the seasonal flu, through a cold, to a broken heart…
The recipe I’ll be sharing with you today had been passed on in our family from generation to generation, originating in rural Southern Germany hundreds of years ago.
Traditionally served with noodles (made separately), this soup is incredibly welcoming to any vegetable that tickles your fancy, so now is the time to rummage the unexplored drawers of your fridge and the dark corners of your pantry for any old veggie that needs using...
Since we’re talking quite a bit of labor here (and by that I mean labor of love, of course!), I warmly suggest you do like me, and make one big batch to last you quite a while. Or maybe feed an army... The result is oh, so worth it!
However, if you’d rather go for a smaller quantity, just go ahead and adjust the measurements to your liking.
Into the kitch my friends!
- Making: 45-60 minutes
- Cooking: around 1 ½ - 2 hours
Serves: 15-20 people
You will need:
- 1 whole large chicken, skinned (or any chicken parts of your choice, skinned) – organic and free-range if possible
- 6-8 potatoes, cut into large bite-size chunks
- 4-5 carrots, sliced into rings
- 2-3 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4-6 celery ribs, diced (even better if some of the leaves are still on)
- 1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
- 4-5 parsnips, sliced into rings
- 2-4 zucchini, sliced into thick rings
- 1-2 leeks, sliced into thick rings
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Optional: 1 small bunch fresh dill, coarsely chopped
- 4-5 bay leaves, ripped in half
- Chicken broth/turkey broth/water (around 10-15 US liquid pints)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¾ tbs. turmeric, or to taste
- Any other seasoning to your liking
- A 20 liter/20 quart pot with a lid
And also, if you like:
- Noodles /pasta/rice of your choice
How to make it:
- Place chicken in pot, pierce in several different parts. (This will help the chicken cook faster, moisten and flavor the chicken from within, and add flavor to the stock)
- Cover with chicken broth/turkey broth/water, and switch to high heat. (Add water if broth is not enough.)
- Cut the veggies and herbs and add into the pot, including the bay leaves. (Put the zucchini and potatoes last, since they soften quicker.)
If necessary, add chicken broth/turkey broth/water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off froth and stirring frequently.
- Boil for a few of minutes, then reduce to medium-high heat.
- Season generously.
- If needed, add chicken broth/turkey broth/water (to replace evaporated liquid).
- Simmer, covered, for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until chicken is thoroughly cooked on the inside, and the veggies are tender.
- Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Using a pair of tongs, carefully (Hot! Hot! Hot!) pull the chicken out of the stock, pull the meat off the bones, and replace meat in pot. Stir.
- Switch off heat, but leave pot covered for 30 minutes before serving, to let flavors blend.
If you make noodles, rice, or pasta to go with the soup, keep them aside, and add them just before serving, preferably straight into your serving bowl.
Because once you add noodles, rice, or pasta into your soup, they will soak up tons of liquid, eventually turning your beautiful creation into a mushy concoction that feels more like baby-food than the magnificent soup you’ve labored so hard over…
A word about fat:
There shouldn’t be much fat in this dish, since the chicken had been skinned prior to cooking. However, if you prefer, you can skim off the excess fat once the soup has cooled down in the fridge.
Planning on freezing the leftovers?
Good idea! Just remember to take out the potatoes. They really don’t like the freezing and defrosting process, and will go all crumbly and watery.
And if you’re lucky enough to live in the northern parts of our continent -somewhere where the snow is about knee-high by now and the temperature never rises above freezing point at this time of year- you might be able to stick your pot in the snow…
We made the rookie mistake of not assessing the temperature correctly once, and left the pot outside overnight.
And guess what?
While we were sleeping, Garfield the cat, Clifford the dog, Rikki racoon, and Winnie the Pooh (Oh Yeah, we live by the forest…) had a lovely feast at our expense, with our premium, free-range, organic chicken… Ouch! And somehow they even managed to crack the lid open, although it had been taped shut!
Wishing you a lovely weekend & enjoy your wonderful soup!
Wise Choice Market