Simply the best chicken soup…ever!

What would a kosher blog be without a recipe for chicken soup?

I have been making chicken soup for the past nearly thirty years of marriage.  I serve chicken soup at just about  every Friday night Shabbos dinner in my home. It is on my Shabbos menu whether the weather is frightfully cold or unbearably hot.  It is one of those recipes that I almost never make during the week, except for a special occasion or weekday holiday.

My first chicken soup in the eighties used whole vegetables and chicken parts.  Over the past decades, I made changes to suit my family and their different tastes.

When the kids were little, I started cutting the vegetables into chunks so that I could easily measure out what each one wanted.  I replaced  chicken parts with boneless chicken breasts because it yielded too much of the gray nastiness on the sides of the pot  and required me to skim the soup.  There were phases when I used cheesecloth packets for the chicken and herbs and phases where I made a more rustic soup.

Now that the dust has settled, here is where I am:

I add scallions for Don
I add a whole sweet potato for Davida
I add matzo balls when Aaron is home
I add lots of zucchini when Michelle and Scotty come to visit
I add lots of herbs for Leah who likes to eat them before Shabbos.
I add small whole onions for Kaitlyn and Aaron S. when they visit
I eliminate the celery when Kaitlyn visits

 

This recipe has had so many variations, but it is basically the same recipe that I used when I first got married.  I think that the sweet carrots, parsnips and spicy turnips give it a unique flavor.  So many of our Shabbos guests have asked for this recipe over the years and have created their own version of this chicken soup.

 

It is simple.  It is delicious.  It creates a wow at our Shabbos table.

 

chicken soup ingredients

 

INGREDIENTS

1 package chicken parts or one pound of boneless chicken cutlet trimmings

1 white turnip, peeled and cubed

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections
4 stalks celery (optional), scrubbed and cut into 1 inch sections
2 small onions (optional), peeled and left whole
2 T. salt (more or less for taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
1-2 sprigs parsley and/or dill (optional)
2 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch sections
1 sweet potato (peel but leave whole)
scallions, parsley or dill (optional)
your favorite Matzo Ball recipe or mix, prepared (optional)
chicken soup ingredients-cut

DIRECTIONS

Peel and cut all vegetables in 1″ pieces. Place chicken and vegetables (except zucchini and sweet potato) in stock pot and fill 2/3 to the top with water.  If you want a more refined soup, you can place chicken and herbs into cheesecloth bag.  Bring soup to a rolling boil and then lower heat to medium-low and cook for one hour more.
Replace any water that has evaporated, making sure that the level of the soup broth is where it started before cooking.  Add zucchini and sweet potato (and matzo balls) and boil for 15-20 minutes more at high flame.
chicken soup cooking in pot
If you have used a cheesecloth bag, remove and discard.  Remove any chicken bones and dice or shred chicken and return to the soup.  Add fresh scallions, dill or parsley for an additional fresh layer of flavor.
chicken soup cooking in pot-with knaidels
Close flame and when cool enough, carefully clean grey sides of pot above water level with a clean paper towel, being careful not to touch hot sides.
I heat the soup before Shabbos. When the soup has come to a rolling boil, I turn off the flame and wrap the soup in a thick towel. The soup stays hot until Friday night dinner (about an hour after Shabbos begins).

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