This is something you need to know how to make. You may not need to make it today, or tomorrow, or even next week. But one day, someone you love will be under the weather or really sick or depressed and you’ll want to do something special for that person. There is nothing better than homemade chicken soup to convey a message of love and caring.
The very best thing to use to make chicken soup is an older chicken, called a fowl. Its meat has the most flavor. A fowl is readily available in a kosher butcher shop, or you can ask your supermarket to get you one. It’s fine if it’s frozen. You don’t even have to thaw it before making the soup. If you can’t get your hands on a fowl, then use a roasting chicken and go heavy on the onions.
Can be made ahead? Yes. Up to 2 days. Chill well after cooking and keep refrigerated until ready to reheat. Skim off fat first.
Can be frozen? Yes. Cool completely in the refrigerator, skim off all visible fat, store in plastic containers, and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator or microwave.
Can be doubled and tripled? Yes. You’ll have to use a very large pot, or 2 pots.Good for leftovers? Yes. Keep covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
8 servings making about 3 quarts
Preparation Time25 min
Preparation Time - Text25 minutes
Cooking Time2 min
Cooking Time - Text120
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationappetizer, main course
Taste and Textureherby, savory
Type of Dishchicken soup
- 1 large fowl, fresh or frozen, or 1 large roasting chicken, discard the organs but reserve the neck
- 2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
- 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
- 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 parsnips, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 2- inch slices
- 1 bunch parsley, well rinsed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- Approximately 3 to 4 quarts cold water
- Additional chunks of carrots, celery, and parsnips and more sliced onions
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse the chicken and neck well and place them in a very large pot or kettle. If you are using a frozen fowl, don’t bother defrosting it. Add the bouillon cubes and the cut-up vegetables, parsley, peppercorns, and garlic. Cover completely with cold water and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot, leaving the lid off center so that some steam escapes. Cook for 2 hours over very low heat. The soup should be just barely simmering. Let the soup cool with the chicken in it for an additional half-hour at room temperature, and then strain off the liquid. You should have about 3 quarts liquid.
Refrigerate the soup until very cold and then scrape off the fat that has solidified on top and discard it. You can use the cooked chicken for chicken salad or add it back to the soup before serving. (It won’t have much taste.) Discard the cooked vegetables (or eat them out of the bottom of the pot the way I do).
Reheat the soup and taste before adding any additional vegetables or seasoning. If the soup is very undersalted, I like to add another bouillon cube rather than straight salt; try adding one-half a cube at a time to avoid oversalting. I like lots of pepper in my soup. Add the remaining vegetables and cook only until they are tender.
1992 Lora Brody