AKA: Jewish Penicillin
When you’re not feeling your best and a little under the weather, there are few foods more soothing and comforting than a bowl of hearty chicken soup. That is why it is also known as Jewish Penicillin.
Every Jewish family have their own version of chicken soup that gets passed down from generation to generation. And today I am sharing with you my families recipe that I learnt from my mom. We make chicken soup on Jewish holidays, or for casual dinners in winter or to store in the freezer for days we need a comforting meal on the ready.
The recipe is so easy and the end result is something delicious, satisfying and so comforting.
1 medium sized whole chicken
2 carrots, peeled
1,5 stalks celery, peeled
1 large onion, left whole but peeled
1/2 small pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 or 2 chicken stock cubes (depending on how salty/tasty you like_
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the chicken inside and out, remove pinfeathers and hairs and place it in a rather large size soup pot. Pour enough water in the pot to cover the chicken by 1-inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and for the next several minutes, remove any scum/fat that rises to the surface. Add the carrots, celery, onion, pumpkin and salt and pepper and cubes of chicken stock.
Cover the pan partially and simmer the soup for 2-1/2 hours or until the chicken meat is very soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Using a strainer spoon, take out the whole chicken as well as the vegetables (carrots, celery, onion and pumpkin). Place the whole chicken in one dish and the vegetables in other dish.
Using a potato masher, mash up the vegetables until it forms like a puree. Then shred the chicken up, but only the white of the chicken. Remove the bones and skin. The bones and the skin are only used for flavour, but they’re not used in the actual soup after. Put the vegetable puree and then shredded chicken pieces back into the pot of soup. Boil for another half an hour and mixing through every so often.
Serve with a slice of Kitka bread or some matzah balls.
Or freeze until one day it is so cold, you just want a bowl of comfort.
A big pot of soup like this makes enough to eat once its ready, for a few days after as well as enough to freeze for when you want later on.
Comment below if you’re going to be making a pot of hearty chicken soup to help fight the winter blues!