My Friday night guests (and my regular family attendees=husband, father, sons, daughter) all seem to love my chicken soup. I own a large 8 quart pot, and I purposely try to make leftovers. Soup freezes well. Key to flavor is to use enough chicken; don’t do what I did when first learning and just use necks.
- 3 chicken backs (with some chicken meat still on it) or 1 small chicken or 3 parts of chicken
- celery (2-3 stalks, cut in half)
- 1 onion, chopped in quarters
- carrots: handful of already peeled baby carrots (easiest) or 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- fresh dill or fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: parsnip, turnip, leftover kale, collards or cabbage
- optional: pieces of flanken (I tried using chopped steak one week, but it wasn’t nearly as tasty as flanken)
- optional: matzo balls (follow matzo meal box directions; this could be a whole post itself, how to make a good, light, tasty matzo ball)
Put your chicken or chicken parts in a large pot. Cover the chicken with water (or more than cover). Cook for about one half hour. Your house will already begin to have aroma of chicken soup. Add carrots, onions and any other root vegetables. Parsnip will add a sweet, yummy taste to your soup. If you are making matzo balls, now is a good time to prepare the matzo ball mixture and refrigerate. Add celery. Add salt, pepper. Cook for at least another hour. With a fork, remove the already cooked chicken. At this point I often give the soup chicken as a snack to my kids. Add matzo balls to the hot soup. Add pieces of flanken if you have. Add any bits of cabbage, collards or kale. If you like, sprinkle a bit more salt and/or pepper. Put in parsley and/or dill towards the end.
Friday night/Shabbat trick: you are allowed to unwrap food on Shabbat, but not to wrap food (called “hatmana“). I wrap my soup in two blankets on Friday afternoon right before Shabbat to keep it warm. This way I don’t have to keep the stove going in the summer. I then unwrap the soup right before serving.
Skim the fat: if you store the soup in the refrigerator for a day, you can then skim the fat off the top.
Soup is delicious, nutritious and a nice option for a whole meal (with challah and grape juice) if one is planning ahead for the many holiday meals in a row we will soon celebrate.
Learn to make matzo balls, too. And then enjoy more soup recipes.