Author Notes: My mother, Evelyn, "Grandma Evie" or "Grandma E" to her grandchildren, says that though she based her chicken soup on her mother's recipe, she made it better. she once told me that a little old Jewish lady she met in a butcher shop told her to put a sweet potato into the soup and she did that ever since. My older sister used to make this soup and my brother's wife makes a version as well. My mother was a great cook, but other than very '70's foods like green bean casserole and jello mold, really excelled at the Jewish cooking she grew up with. I don't make too many of her specialties any more because they can be very heavy, but this one I hope my children will carry on. My mother can no longer cook, but she loves when I make this soup. I suspect she critiques it behind my back, though. - healthierkitchen
Serves 8 - 12
- 5 pounds cut up chicken parts (I like to use Kosher for this as it's been salted and soaked)
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and left whole
- 1 large onion, peeled and left whole
- 4 - 6 carrots, peeled and cut in two or three approximately equal lengths
- 4 stalks celery, trimmed, cleaned and halved as with carrots
- 1 large (or 2 small) parsnip, peeled
- 1 "Jewish bouquet garni" - a large handful of parsley, stems and all, a large handful of dill, and 10 - 12 black peppercorns wrapped in muslin and tied with kitchen string.
- salt to taste
- Place chicken pieces into a large stock pot, leaving out any giblets, livers, etc. Cover with water by a couple of inches, probably about 7 quarts.
- Set pot on burner on high and bring to a rolling boil. Lower burner to a slow boil. After the water has been boiling for about 5 - 10 minutes, skim off the foam and grey-brown globs that rise to the top. Keep chicken and water at this slow boil for about 30 minutes, skimming occasionally as needed, until water is mostly clear.
- Add the other ingredients into the pot. Bring back to a boil and then lower to maintain the contents of the pot at a simmer. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer for about an hour.
- After an hour, taste soup and add salt and pepper. If you have the time, let it simmer another hour.
- Remove the chicken pieces to a bowl and reserve for another use - Amanda's chicken salad, maybe?
- Remove the parsnip and sweet potato and eat. This is the cook's prerogative. Break up the onion into smaller pieces and leave in the soup. Remove the Jewish b.g. (herbs).
- For Jewish holidays, the soup is ready to serve like this with noodles or matzo balls. If you would like a fancier presentation, strain the soup of all the cooked out vegetables and put just the broth back into the pot (and don't do what I did once and just pour it through the strainer right down the sink - oy!) Once strained, you can add fresh carrots and celery to the broth and cook them for another 20 minutes or so before serving, or use as stock.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Recipe or Technique Your Mother Taught You