Chicken soup – Jewish penicillin


This is the staple for all sickness in any Jewish household. Even if you are not Jewish it is a panacea for all ills. I have never made it before but I had a friend in need so here we are. It couldn’t be simpler, and I even saved some for myself! I didn’t have any dill to hand (down the garden on a wet night) so so used my purple basil instead. I froze mine in little separate containers enough for two meals and delivered them to my friend. Made at least 10 boxes!

Serves many people! all depends on the size of chicken. Scale down accordingly.

  • 1 x 2.5 kg free-range chicken
  • 3 medium onions , peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots , peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 swede or a parsnip, roughy chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 handfuls of fine egg noodles or spaghetti, broken into bits
  • 1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill for serving


Put the chicken in a massive saucepan cover with cold water, at least an inch or so over the top. Bring to the boil and let it bubble away, skimming off all the froth every few minutes.IMG_2536

Once the broth dies down, add all the chopped vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper and simmer  very gently (it will go cloudy if you boil it too fast) for at least one-and-a-half hours until the chicken is falling off the bone and the broth smells gorgeously aromatic.IMG_2537

Take the chicken out of the pot and leave it on a board to cool. Strain the broth and separate from the vegetables which will be soft but still keeping their shape.

Put the broth, which should be clear, into the pan again and, when cool, shred the chicken meat from the bone. Add to the both along with some spaghetti if you want to bulk it up a bit, and bring to the boil. When the noddles are cooked put back the vegetables to heat them through again. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. Feel better immediately!




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