As a non doctor/ scientist/ person who knows anything about medicine….I’m 99% sure this soup has magical powers and can cure any disease.
That said, I could be biased, because this is what my parents fed me every time I got sick as a little girl (and even now – seriously…as an adult woman I can remember at least two times when my mother dragged me down the stairs of my apartment building, shoved me into her car, drove me to New Jersey, and force fed me this stuff until I stopped producing mucus by the bucket). Kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment aside, this soup just tastes like home to me!
(Is “mucus by the bucket” an okay phrase to include in a recipe post? Meh, go with it.)
On a less, disgusting note, we ALSO have this every year during Hanukkah, so in preparation for the holiday, here’s our family recipe.
- 1 4.5-5lb chicken
- 1lb drumsticks or wings (drumsticks if you like dark meat)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4-5 large carrots (you can also swap out for equivalent amount of baby carrots if that’s easier – not quite as authentic, but same result)
- 1 large parsnip
- 1 medium-large bunch of celery
- Fresh bunch of dill
- 1TSP Kosher (coarse) Salt (if you don’t have this and don’t want to buy, you CAN just use table salt, but coarse is better)
- 1/2 TSP Black pepper (fresh ground, if you can!)
- 12 cups cold water
Place whole chicken + drumsticks/wings in large stock pot. Slice the top and bottom of the onion, and peel. Place onion in the pot. Peel and slice carrots into 1″ chunks and toss them in the pot (or just toss in the baby carrots!). Slice off the top and bottom of the parsnip, peel, and place into the pot whole.
For the celery, slice 1/2 inch off the top and slice off the base of the bunch. Break apart celery stalks and wash thoroughly.
Optional Celery Step: remove the strings:
This will make the celery extra tender, but if you don’t have time, you can just slice the celery stalks into bite size (one inch) chunks. (If it’s your first time making this soup, try removing the strings on a few of the stalks, so you do a taste side by side, and see if it’s worth it to peel them for you the next time you make this. (Which will probably be tomorrow, because this soup is the most delicious miracle food on the planet.) Once sliced, throw the celery into the pot .
Onto the dill. Now, I should comment that I LOVE dill, and I especially love dill in this soup. So, I tend to put a lot of dill in, but the minimum I would do is two tablespoons. Remove the stems, and pull apart or slice the dill and add to the pot. If I’m being honest, I put in about 2/3 of a medium bunch. Did I mention I like dill?
Sprinkle in the salt and black pepper. I’d also use the 1/2 TSP salt as a starting point. I prefer substantially more salt, but that’s not to everyone’s taste, so add gradually until it tastes right to you.
Fill the pot with cold water, covering the ingredients completely and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about two hours, skimming the top periodically. There’s this (gross) grayish fatty stuff that cooks out of the chicken, so just strain it out with a slotted spoon. Remove chicken (CAREFULLY) from the pot, and carve. You can shred the meat or slice it into manageable hunks and throw it back into the broth. Also, you can include both dark and light meat or just light depending on your preference. Toss the onion, slice the parsnip and place the 1″ chunks back into the broth (or just leave the parsnip in the soup and break it apart with your stirring spoon, if you’re lazy like me).
Ingredients (Matzoh Balls):
Just buy the mix. If you want to get fancy here’s a good recipe, BUT the difference in taste is so minor, I’d just make them from the mix. Brands that work: Streitz, Manischewitz You’ll need the following ingredients to combine with the mix if you cheat like me:
- Vegetable Oil
- Matzoh Ball Mix
Instructions (Matzoh Balls):
Follow the instructions on the box, and DON’T SKIP THE REFRIGERATION PART OF THE MATZOH BALL MAKING. It’s a very important step.
Once the matzoh balls are ready, toss them in the pot and EAT!
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