Homemade Chicken Soup
There's something about chicken soup - I mean a good homemade chicken soup recipe from scratch - 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.
Servings (change as needed): 16
- 3 -4 pounds of chicken parts and/or bones (I use at least some thighs or legs.)
- 4 -5 large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
- 4 -5 celery ribs, cut into chunks
- 3 parsnips, peeled and cut in large chunks
- 1 large onion (I use a sweet onion)
- 2 cloves, garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoon salt or to taste (Use less if using kosher chicken)
- 8 peppercorns (whole)
- handful fresh parsley
- handful fresh dill
- 2 optional: white turnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
PREPARE SOUP FOR COOKING: Trim chicken. I leave on some skin to add flavor to the soup. Place chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the vegetables (except turnips), garlic, salt and pepper. Fill pot with water to 1 inch above the level of the chicken and vegetables (about 16 cups). Place the parsley and dill on top.
COOK THE SOUP: Heat stove to medium-high. Bring soup to a a gentle boil. Skim off the residue that floats to the surface with a ladle a few times. Lower the heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover slightly (tilt lid to create a 3-4 inch gap). Add turnips if using. Continue to simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
STRAIN THE SOUP: Remove the chicken and vegetables into a large bowl and set aside. I separate them in two separate bowls and discard the onion, parsnips (they get mushy), herbs and garlic. Strain the broth through a sieve and put it back into the pot.
TASTE AND ADJUST TO ADD DEPTH OF FLAVOR: Taste the soup. If it needs more depth of flavor, there are a few options. 1) continue cooking the broth uncovered until reduced a bit (about 20-30 more minutes) - this will concentrate the the broth more. 2) add a teaspoon or more of chicken bouillon such as Better Than Bouillon or 3) add one can of full undiluted concentrated chicken broth (with no water) such as Campbell's Chicken Broth. Add salt as needed.
SKIM GREASE AND SERVE THE SOUP: If you are serving it right away, skim off the grease with a spoon and discard.Ladle the hot broth into bowls along with cooked fine noodles or orzo or matzoh balls. Add chunks of the chicken and/or vegetables used when making the broth. Enjoy! Note 1 to make ahead.
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include optional extras, matzo balls or noodles.
To make ahead: If you are making the soup a day or more ahead (suggested), put it in the fridge along with some fresh dill floating on top. The cold temperature will allow the grease to congeal on top of the broth, making it easy to skim off and discard. The soup can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days. The soup may also be frozen for 4-6 months. Reheat the soup in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.
Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2826IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg