Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Real Jewish Chicken Soup aka Jewish Penicillin

A University of Nebraska Medical Centre team concluded from their research that a traditionally prepared chicken soup inhibits the clumping of a certain type of white blood cells (called neutrophils) that cause congestion and inflammation in people suffering from the common cold.

What do they know?

Every Jewish mother knows it’s much more than a cure for colds and flu, it is also an antidote for depression, falling school marks, upset stomachs, cramps, political unrest and in-growing toenails.

How to make Jewish chicken soup is one of those things that is handed down through generations, and everyone thinks that their mother made the best chicken soup.

Probably the most important thing is the quality of the chicken you buy. Really and truly it should be a boiling chicken and I have only found these at Kosher butchers. But if you can’t get Kosher try and get an organic bird that’s had a good life.


1 1/2 kilo chicken parts: bones, wings, thighs, feet, hearts, skin in any ratio. Use all the innards expect the liver (or a whole chicken)
2 large carrots, washed, unpeeled, broken into coarse pieces
1 large onion, washed and unpeeled
2 celery stalks, cut into quarters
1 medium parsnip, washed, unpeeled, cut into three pieces
6-8 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, whole
1 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorn
Chicken stock
matzo balls (recipe below)

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and add water to cover.

Bring water to boil over medium heat but watch the pot so water never comes to a rolling boil. When the water is just about to boil, turn heat to lowest setting so only a few bubbles break the surface. At this point you may need to skim off some sediment that is on the surface of the soup.
Cover pot and let simmer for 4 hours. (Longer simmering will not hurt soup.)

Remove pot from heat and strain out most of the chicken parts and vegetables. Most of the chicken will be dried out and virtually all the flavour has passed into the liquid so feed the dogs with it. I sometimes add a fresh breast of chicken for a slow simmer in the soup before serving if you like the meat with the soup. I get rid of everything else except the carrots.

Adjust salt to your taste. (or if the chicken isn't quite tasty enough you can always resort to a bit of M&S chicken stock)

Leave the soup overnight in a cold place and take the fat off the top. Leave a bit of fat because it adds to the flavour and there’s something about seeing those shiny, golden globules of chicken fat that make everything worthwhile.

To serve the soup take about 1/4 cup dry vermicelli and cook in salted water. For garnish, coarsely chop fresh parsley. Add these with matzo balls into individual soup bowls.

Usually I buy the packets of ready prepared matzos balls. But, you never know, the Telma company might go out of business and you have to make them from scratch.

2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 t ground black pepper
3/4 cup matzo meal
2 Tbsp soft butter, oil or chicken fat

Beat eggs, blend in salt, parsley, pepper. Slowly mix matzo meal and butter (or oil or fat) into egg mixture until it forms a dough. This will be a stiff dough, to lighten it add water slowly until it is workable (about 1/4 water).

Shape dough into neat, round 14 to 18 walnut-sized balls, lower them into simmering stock (using chicken bouillon), cover pot and gently for 10 minutes. Drain and add them to the soup.

It should be added that to benefit from Jewish Penicillin, one need not be Jewish.


At 10:41 PM, Blogger WDKY said...

Thanks :-)

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Zoozan said...



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