Winter is coming and with winter comes the dreaded winter cold. Nothing cures a cold like a bowl of traditional Jewish chicken soup. My Grandma Lee had the best Jewish penicillin chicken soup recipe. As most of you know, I am not the cook in the family….. that’s my sister, Julie. So, while I would ask my grandma to make it for me, Julie had the foresight to ask her to teach her how to make it.
Julie was living in New York when she decided to make her first pot of Grandma Lee’s Chicken soup. So Grandma Lee talked her through it over the phone. Julie shared her memory of learning how to make this famous chicken soup recipe with me (not over the phone, but via email…. modern technology!)
Chicken soup for the soul by Julie Gendler
I learned how to make it with Grandma Lee over the phone. She talked me through the whole thing. She never wrote it down and neither have I. Below is my best approximation of the basic recipe she taught me. Everyone likes their chicken soup a bit different. She strained hers so it was clear and then added the pieces of carrots back in. I like a few more bits in it so I don’t strain it. Sometimes I chop up the onions and celery and leave them in as well. I never make it exactly the same twice. I throw in a bit more a bit less, but somehow it always comes out tasting just like it’s supposed to!
- 1 small whole chicken bones and skin left on
- 1 medium onion whole
- 1 lb carrots cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 5-6 stalks celery with leaves left on
- 3-4 large sprigs of fresh dill
- 2 -3 tablespoons of Osem Chicken Style Consomme or any type of chicken soup base
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb egg noodles
- *matzoh balls see note below
Place the chicken and the onion in a large stock pot
Fill with cold water
Bring to simmer
Skim fat from the top before adding in remaining ingredients
Add in carrots, celery, dill salt and pepper
Simmer partially covered for at least an hour to an hour and a half
You will know when it is getting close when the chicken begins to fall apart
Cook for another 1/2 hour after that
Remove the chicken, onion, celery and dill from the pot
Add in egg noodles and cook as directed on the package
Remove the chicken from the bone and add it back to the pot if desired
*The secret of the perfect Matzoh Ball: Use the packaged stuff. Manischewitz Matzoh Ball Mix. I have had many a homemade matzoh ball in my day, but the best ones come straight from the box. They have it proportioned perfectly, so I never bother with trying to figure it out myself. Save yourself the aggravation, follow the directions on the box and make the perfect ball!
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