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Chicken Soup – The Best Cure for the Common Cold!

Well readers, my co-blogger has left town and the writer has caught the cold that she imported from London. Thanks a bunch Lindsey!

Anyway, that does give me an excuse to cook the best cure for both the common cold and the late Autumnal blues – Eastern European style Jewish Chicken Soup. It is one of my family’s favorite seasonal broths, rich fragrant and a meal in a bowl, especially when served with the chicken and vegetables  it was made with and a few delicious thread egg noodles and Matzoh Balls (a sort of Jewish dumpling)!

Even better, it really isn’t that hard to make and you can also freeze the soup or use it as a stock for other recipes if you like. It truly is a brilliant self recycling soup

Some of the Ingredients you'll need

Some of the Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 whole chicken (cut into 8)
  • One whole medium onion (peeled only)
  • 2 peeled carrots (sliced horizontally in 2)
  • 2 sticks of celery (sliced horizontally in 2)
  • 1 turnip / purple top (peeled and chopped into 1″ squares
  • A small handful of parsley (whole)
  • 1 pint of chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
In the pot before and after cooking

In the pot before and after cooking


  • Rinse the chicken once with boiling water
  • Add the chicken and all the other ingredients to a large stock pot, pouring the chicken stock in last
  • Season with a good few pinches of salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Then add sufficient boiling water to cover all the ingredients by a few inches
  • Bring the content of the pot to the boil
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot and cook for 2 hours
  • Dispose of the bay leaves, remove the chicken and vegetables from the broth and set aside

    Soup de-constructed

    Soup de-constructed

  • Strain the remaining liquid through a sieve to remove any bits and pour the liquid into a large bowl to cool, place in a refrigerator
  • After a few hours, skim the chicken fat formed on the surface of the soup
  • Re heat the soup (and the chicken and vegetables you set aside)

Serve piping hot in a deep bowl with Matzoh balls and some thread egg noodles. Cold fixed, blues cured, or is it the other way round?

Filed under: Chicken, Home-made Recipes, Soups

About the Author

Posted by

Almost as food obsessed as my Beagle Hound Millie, I am a keen amateur cook and consumer of fine chow with a weakness for the spices of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine and an obsession with Chu Toro, British Cheese and Single Malt Orkney Island Scotch (go figure), I slice at warp speed (scars on the fingers to prove it) and can rustle up everything from Mashed Potato to Maki in the flash of an eye!


  1. Linda Day

    I like your chicken soup recipe and its similar to my grandmother’s – except for the turnip and the chicken stock. But I never use chicken stock and don’t know the reason why its needed as you have a whole chicken there to get the flavouring from. Same when there is meat cooking and you add meat stock. Bought stock in whatever form usually contain lots of chemicals and in my opinion are totally unnecessary. There are lots of ways to make a dish tastier naturally.


    • simsalb

      Hi Linda, Many thanks for your interesting comment. Perhaps I should have made clear on the recipe that I wasn’t recommending the use of purchased Chicken Stock (unless it was organic and free from chemical additives). I normally use a stock that I have hand made previously from raw ingredients and which I’d frozen for future use. The intention of using such a stock was simply to intensify the flavor of the soup but of course the recipe works stock free too, as you indicate. Indeed, if you cook the broth for even longer than I suggest, the flavor will intensify naturally.


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