I’ve made chicken soup for my family forever. What’s changed is the range of ingredients I add to it. Traditional Jewish chicken soup is simply chicken, carrots, celery, onion and parsnips. After watching my Israeli mother-in-law add other veggies like zucchini and cauliflower, I began to add them in also, but in the last half hour of cooking. I add tomatoes for a little extra hit of vitamin C and for the beautiful golden color they add to the broth.
I’ve eliminated the messy straining by tying up the aromatics, garlic and onion and whatever else I don’t want floating in the bowl, in cheesecloth. Before cooling the soup, simply lift out the pouch and allow it to drain over a colander so none of the golden broth is lost. What’s left in the pot is the magical broth, plenty of chicken and the veggies my family wants to eat.
-Liz Rueven, Kosher Like Me
Serving Size: Serves 8
One 3 1/2 lb. chicken, cut in 1/8th's, rinsed and trimmed of extra fat and skin.
1 onion, quartered (I remove them at the end)
4-5 carrots, scraped and sliced into bite size pieces
2 parsnips, scraped and cut into big chunks (I remove them at the end)
4 stalks celery, washed and cut into bite size pieces
3-5 cloves garlic, chunked (optional)
1 zucchini, washed and cut into bite size pieces (optional)
1 handful fresh dill, washed and rough chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 heaping tablespoon soup enhancer, like Osem chicken or vegetable powder
Place all ingredients, except dill and zucchini, in a large pot.
Add cold water to a level about 2 inches above the ingredients. DO NOT add too much water or the soup will not be rich enough. This is the trick!
Slowly, bring liquid to boil and immediately turn it to simmer. Keep an eye on the simmer, making sure it is low and slow (boiling will toughen the chicken). Leave the lid cracked open a bit so it doesn't overflow.
After about 10 min, skim the surface of the soup of any gunk. Continue simmering with the lid cracked, for about 1 1/2 hours.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the fresh dill and zucchini. Bring the soup back to simmer for 30-45 minutess.
Remove from heat, uncover and allow to cool. Pull out the chicken and cool separately so it doesn't continue cooking.
Refrigerate overnight and remove any accumulated fat before serving.
Serve with thin noodles, alphabet noodles, matzoh balls, or soup croutons.