Chicken Soup for the Soul
I grew up in a household where my mom would make chicken soup to help cure a cold or flu. We always referred to this potion as “Jewish Penicillin” and to this day I repeat the same ritual in our home. Despite the fact that we both took the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines, Kate ended up with the flu. Cultural forces prevailed and I made a batch of our traditional Chicken Soup to nurse her back to health.
1 Large Whole Chicken (free-range preferred)
6 Large Carrots peeled and cut in large chunks
6 Celery Stalks cut in large chunks
2 Large Parsnips peeled and cut in large chunks
1 Large Onion peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried noodles (elbows, twists or alphabets)
12 cups cold water
1 handful fresh Parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh Dill, chopped
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt (2-3 teaspoons depending on taste)
Black Pepper, Ground (about 1 teaspoon)
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch-Oven or heavy bottom soup pot, over medium heat. Add the whole chicken to the pot and brown on top and bottom. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips, onions, parsley, dill, 2 tsp. salt and black pepper. Allow these ingredients to simmer and sweat for about 5-10 minutes. Add the 12 cups of water and bring to boil with medium/high heat. Once soup reaches a boil, reduce temperature to very low and gently simmer, loosely covered, for about 2 hours. Turn off heat. At this point carefully remove the cooked chicken from the pot and place it in a large bowl to cool down. I use two large slotted spoons to remove the entire bird, it will be falling apart. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed. Turn on the heat to medium, add the dried noodles to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, carefully remove all the meat from the bones and add the meat back to the soup (large pieces are OK). Your soup is now done and your patient is on the road to recovery! Kate likes her soup served with sourdough toast for dipping.