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Real Jewish Chicken Soup

I'm sipping chicken broth from a mug as I write this. My allergies have gotten the best of me and I'm trying to get my mojo back (whatever that is!). Hearing in my head my high school English teacher admonishing me to quit being lazy, I look up 'mojo'. Not in my 1991 edition of Merriam-Webster. 1991, I definitely need a new dictionary. Waking up to NPR the other day, I hear the news. The Oxford Dictionary has accepted "muffin top" into the lexicon (extra blob of flesh above a too-tight waistband). Ha! What's the world coming to?

Where was I? Ah, chicken soup. I make a rich chicken broth when I make REAL chicken soup. Unfortunately, having had the pareve bakery and cafe, and making "MOCK" chicken soup at Hillel due to the high vegetarian population, not many people have had my REAL chicken soup. In fact, last year during the Hillel Passover lunch, someone runs up to tell me her secret to making rich chicken soup. Sighing, I lament that I would actually love to put CHICKEN into the soup. Now I keep a couple of necklaces in my Passover gear. Gold mardi gras beads with rubber chicken medallions attached. Silly I know, but it makes my crew laugh when we are all crying on the inside; serving chicken soup without chicken! Come sick, leave sick ~ it ain't curin' anyone of anything!

I have a small group of single friends I occasionally feed on Shabbat. They get my real chicken soup. I enjoy Harvey's pure enjoyment while he eats it. It is quite a ritual; inhale, sigh, slurp, savor, swallow, repeat. I feel vindicated, redeemed.

Make broth in a huge pot and freeze the stock for later use. Definitely save chicken scraps in the freezer if you don't want to make soup at that moment. The more the better. Chicken soup is great to have on hand and makes a sentimental and appreciated gift for a friend who is under the weather. I feel better already. Looking at the bottom of my mug, I think I'll have another cup. Cures the common cold, fights allergy attacks and helps get your mojo back!

My recipe calls for 9 pounds of chicken scraps and a huge pot. I cut the quantities down for home use. Just remember, you really can't mess this up. Throw in a little more or a little less of this or that and it'll still be great. Be sure to cook the soup for at least 2 1/2 hours to get the rich flavor.

See "Matzoh Ball" Recipe for matzo balls. "Passover Noodles" recipe to follow.

Kosher Status: Meat
Number of servings: depends on the size of your pot
Main Ingredient(s):
Preparation Time: 00:20
Cooking Time: 02:30
Skill Level: 1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:
Average Rating: 5/5


My recipe:

  • 9# chicken scraps (backs, necks, wings, etc.)
  • 16 bay leaves
  • 1 cup garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds peeled carrots
  • 1/2 pound fresh parsley
  • 6 pounds trimmed onions
  • 2 pounds peeled parsnips
  • 4 pounds trimmed celery
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup chicken soup mix (optional - increase salt to 1/2 cup if omitted)

Your recipe:

  • 2 pounds chicken scraps (or packaged wings)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 pound peeled carrots (about 2 cups chunked)
  • 1 bunch parsley, washed
  • 3 large onions
  • 1/2 pound peeled parsnips (about 2 cups chunked)
  • 1 pound celery (about 4 cups chunked)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt or regular salt
  • 1/4 cup chicken soup mix (optional - increase salt to 1/3 cup if omitted)


Rinse the chicken scraps and place in a very large pot, at least an 11 Quart Stockpot.

Wash celery stalks and chunk. Add to stockpot.

Peel the parsnips, trim ends and cut into chunks. Rinse and add to stockpot.

Peel carrots. Trim the ends, chunk and rinse. Add to stockpot.

Peel the onions. Cut into quarters and add to stockpot.

Peel garlic cloves and add to stock pot.

Add everything to the pot and fill with water to 1" within the top. Bring to a boil. Stir. Turn down the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 2 1/2 hours. You can stir the soup stock once or twice but don't really disturb everything too much. It isn't necessary and it'll just cloud your stock with veggie bits, etc.

When soup is done, remove from heat. Let cool 15 minutes.

Discard cooked vegetables and chicken scraps.

I use cheesecloth in the strainer for a final strain. Immediately compost the soup scraps or take the garbage out. Otherwise, it'll be heavy in the bag and smell up the kitchen.

The finished stock is golden and flavorful. If you like vegetables in your soup, heat the amount of stock you need for your meal and add freshly cut vegetables. Don't use the vegetables that were used to make the stock. They are overcooked and all nutrients have been removed with the flavor.

Freeze what you don't need for later.

Rate this Recipe:


Daphna: This looks great. I shouldn't buy a whole chicken cut into pieces but wings or necks instead? Just discovered your site, and its great. Thanks
Souzan: Looks yummy, sounds great...I almost smell the aroma! Thanks Leah.
Souzan: Looks yummy, sounds great...I almost smell the aroma! Thanks Leah.
Leah: Hi Daphna and Souzan, Watching the storm report all day on the news yesterday, I made a huge pot of chicken soup. I had about 8 pounds of frozen chicken trimmings and threw it into the pot. Since they were frozen, I had to thaw and break the chunk and make another pot. I have very rich soup that is a solid mass when cold. While it made me feel warm and safe, I really felt for those suffering under the strain of Sandy.
Souzan: My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Sandy. May the Lord grant their families peace and give the strength they need in this difficult time. I hope you and your family are well. God bless America!
Abraham : This is absolutely the correct way to make kosher chicken soup Certainly not to re-use the same veggie's also not a lot of other additives. after straining use fresh veggies your choice, but carrots and celery with the leaves are standard
Leah: Cures everything, too :-)! Commercially, I can't use the leaves of celery unless I want to pay a mashgiach to inspect every leaf! The stalks will just have to do.

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Real Jewish Chicken Soup

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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