There’s something about chicken soup – I mean good homemade chicken soup – that’s special. I’ve been making it forever as did my mother and my grandmother. And probably her mother and grandmother before that. It’s nourishing. It’s comforting. And my mother swears that it cures colds. I’m not sure about that last one, but it always makes me feel better. I simply love it.
To be honest, there are a few steps involved so it does take some time. Since I like to use chicken bones (with a bit of meat on them) as well as a few pieces of chicken with skin on to add flavour, this chicken soup recipe is best made a day or more ahead to easily remove the grease, but with a little patience, you can skim it off right after the broth is cooked. If you use kosher (brined) chicken like I do – so flavourful – I suggest using less salt initially. You can always add more salt at the end.
It’s difficult to provide exact measurements for chicken soup, but fairly easy to adjust once the basic broth is made. If it’s not quite rich enough when you taste it, continue to simmer it down uncovered until it’s reduced in the pot by and inch or so. This will concentrate it and increase the depth of flavour. Or, add a bit of chicken bouillon if necessary. I love dill in chicken soup. Others prefer using a couple of bay leaves. Your choice.
How you serve chicken soup is up to you. You can add chicken chunks, vegetables, fresh spinach, herbs (dill, parsley) and of course noodles. I prefer fine egg noodles or orzo. And during holidays – I serve the soup with matzoh balls. Yum!!