Ashkenazi, Soup

Chicken Soup Weather

bowl of chicken soup on rustic background, with spoon

It’s winter and cold and flu season is upon us. What’s a Jewish person to do? Make soup! Chicken soup, that is.

Here’s my rendition:

Chicken Soup


  • 1 large, fat chicken
  • 1 turkey neck
  • Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 2 fat leeks, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 fat parsnips, peeled
  • 1 peeled ginger root
  • 4 heads of garlic, sliced in half horizontally
  • 4 peeled, sliced carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh parsley
  • Light-colored celery leaves, optional


  1. Bring a stock pot, 2/3 full of cold water, to a hard boil. Throw in a handful of salt and plunge the chicken into the water as it bubbles up. Add the turkey neck. Add 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, skimming and discarding any scum that rises to the top.
  2. Add leeks, parsnips, ginger root. Make a bouquet garni of the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and 2 of the halved garlic heads—you may use a bouquet garni bag for this purpose, or a large square of gauze. Add the bouquet garni to the stock pot. Bring soup back to a hard boil, then turn heat down to very low. Simmer for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, celery, and the rest of the garlic (wrap the garlic as above for a second bouquet garni). Bring to boil, then turn heat down to very low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add a washed bunch of dill and a washed bunch of parsley to the pot. (You may also add light-colored celery leaves at this time.) You may tie the herbs together with a strip of gauze for easy removal later, if you prefer. Bring soup to a boil then turn heat down to very low. Simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Set a colander into a clean dishpan. Using slotted spoon, place dill, parsley, chicken, turkey neck, leeks, parsnips, ginger root and 2 bouquet garnis into colander. Pour the rest of the soup into the dishpan. (Pouring the soup into a large, wide container helps it to cool more quickly, for safer kitchen hygiene!) Press on the solids in the colander with a spoon to extract the juices.
  6. Cut up some of the cooled chicken and turkey and add it to the cooled soup.
  7. Refrigerate soup overnight to develop the flavor.
  8. In the morning, skim off the fat, if you like, and add rice, noodles, or matzoh balls, as you wish!


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