Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

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Chicken Soup, aka Jewish penicillin, is one of the world’s most iconic soups . Every family in every culture has their own special formula. My Chicken Soup is the same one that was made in my Great Grandmother’s home, my Grandmother’s home,  in my home as a child and now in my home as an adult. My family always made soup using quartered chickens. I do it that way; but I also do it with all the leftover pieces of bone I gather from cleaning chicken in general. I wait until I have a large plastic bag of frozen backbones etc. and use that as the base for my soup. The bones also yield a delicious broth. Add noodles, rice, matzah balls, kreplach, or mandels; add diced chicken and/or  diced vegetables-whatever you do, the result is a warm flavorful soup flavored with loads of dill that warms your heart and soul.

Vegetarian/No Chicken Chicken Soup: I use all the vegetables listed below and cover them with vegetable broth (homemade or boxed) or water. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of celery seeds and bay leaves to bring up the flavor. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Taste to see if you need more salt and throw in an extra handful of dill.

I simmer matzah balls in water so I can divide them between the Vegetarian soup and the Chicken soup.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Hint: I like to prepare my Chicken Soup a day in advance so I can remove all the fat before I serve it. Use any leftover chicken to make chicken salad, tacos, or chicken pot pie.

Confession: I use boxed Matzah Ball mix and add about 1/4 cup chopped dill to the mixture. Form matzah balls lightly with your hands and simmer according to package directions. These are Floaters!

Chicken Soup

By Gloria Kobrin Published: August 31, 2016

  • Yield:

  • 8-10 Servings


  • 2 large soup chickens quartered and well cleaned
  • 6 large carrots peeled and halved
  • 3 large celery stalks with leaves washed and halved
  • 2 large yellow onions peeled and halved
  • 3 large leeks root end removed, washed well and halved
  • 4 large parsnips root end removed and peeled
  • 1 large bunch of Italian parsley washed
  • 2 large bunches of fresh dill washed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 large turnips optional


  • 1 8 quart soup pot with cover I love my pot with a glass top so I can see the soup
  • 1 measuring cup with handle for skimming the soup
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 large colander
  • 3 large mixing bowls
  • cheesecloth


  1. Put chicken in the pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. As the water is boiling, you will see a dark film (scum) rise to the top. I use a measuring cup with a handle to remove the film and pour it into a bowl. I do it several times until all the film has disappeared from the pot; and then I discard what I've removed.
  2. Add all the prepared vegetables and salt to the chicken. Place the parsley and dill on top. Cover the pot. Return the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about two hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Cool slightly.
  3. Carefully, remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot and place them in separate bowls. Set aside.
  4. Soak a large piece of cheesecloth in water. Spread the cheesecloth over the bottom of the colander. Place the strainer in a large bowl and pour the soup through it. Repeat this process until your soup is clear. Let soup cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
  5. The next day, remove the congealed fat from the top of the soup with a slotted spoon. Press a sheet of paper towel on top of the soup to remove any fat that's left.
  6. To serve: 1. You can add small pieces of chicken back into the soup. My preference is to only use the white meat-but that's up to you. Whatever you use, be sure it has no skin or gristle attached to it. 2. Rinse off the parsnips and carrots, cut them in slices and add them back to the soup. You can also add matzah balls, noodles, kreplach, extra chopped dill etc. depending on what your family likes. Serve soup hot. Enjoy