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Dr Quito’s Jewish Chicken Soup recipe. A cure all.

chicken soupI’m always reading that someone somewhere has proved that Jewish Chicken soup is a natural cure for colds, flu, fevers and even the blues. A few years ago I decided that it had to be part of our repertoire.

The best Jewish chicken soup recipes are often carefully guarded family secrets, handed down through generations. We refused to be knocked back by this. We tried a few recipes, identified what worked for us and started to experiment. Our goal was to create a soup that would appeal equally to an invalid and a super fit trapeze artist. We wanted a tempting, nutritious meal in a bowl. True comfort food.

Our soup freezes well. We make it in large batches so that we always have a supply if one of us gets a bug and enough to give away to a friend confined to bed. We are very lucky as our butcher (Fred Fitzpatrick, Exning Road, Newmarket) supplies us with free chicken carcasses. These are free range and left over from supplying local restaurants and pubs with chicken portions. He hates throwing them away. We love being given them. Everyone’s happy. They have loads of meat on them. Enough to make this soup.

We discovered that the secret is in the stock. Always use uncooked bones. This recipe is named after our senior dog who heroically ate all failed attempts without complaint.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh free range chicken cut into portions (or three fresh free range chicken carcasses from Fred’s – roughly chopped into four portions per bird)
  • 5 pints of water with 1 teaspoon of Marigold stock powder and 2 chicken stock cubes (or five pints of homemade chicken stock*)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic (chopped fine)
  • 4 celery stalks chopped into 1 cm lengths
  • 650g of carrots chopped
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoonful of decent dried herbs (we use Provencal as these are really tangy)
  • A large handful of egg vermicelli (or any tiny pasta for soup)
  • Large handful of fresh chopped herbs

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan sweat the chopped onion over a low heat in the olive oil for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped garlic and sweat for a further five minutes.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, celery, peppercorns and Provencal herbs and cover with a) the water, stock cubes and marigold powder or b) the homemade chicken stock.
  3. Simmer gently for an hour or so, until the chicken is tender. If you are using chicken carcasses only simmer for half an hour. Remove the chicken (a slotted spoon is best) and strip the meat from the bones (this meat will be added to the soup later).
  4. Return the larger bones to the saucepan and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Remove the bones and leave the soup to cool down before putting it in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day remove the fat – it will have travelled to the surface and discard before bringing the stock to the boil, adding the carrots and vermicelli.
  6. Five minutes before serving, add the chicken pieces and the chopped fresh herbs. Season to taste.
  7. Serve and stand back to prepare for applause.

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20 Comments

  1. I’m making this in the slowcooker at the moment. I’m a bit blue and decided that what I needed was some comforting chicken soup! I’ve made this one on and off several times now and love it. Thank you all over again Fiona.

  2. Cookie Girl

    Soup sounds delicious – but where are the matzo balls.. ? You can’t have chicken soup jewish style without the matzo !

  3. Hi, I have a cold and had a chicken in the fridge and suddenly thought Aha! What I need is chicken soup.

    Couldn’t find a decent recipe in all my many cookbooks, so came on to the interweb to have a look.

    I found your recipe and it is now simmering away. I feel better already!

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Tricia

    When the soup is made and warm, beat 2 eggs well and stir into the soup.

  5. Hi there
    I am just about to make the soup could you tell me how to add eggs to soup, how many, and when.
    Thanks Tricia

  6. Chicken Sopu works everytime, I have been broght up on Chicken Soup, the lovely yellow colour, with chopped Carrots, try and buy some Chicken eggs, add them to the Soup, it makes it even tastier, great when your in bed with the Flu.

  7. Hi all.
    Am making chicken soup at present and will add a few peas and cooked lentils, then if it needs thickening I add some mashed potato. It always receives a good reception with hubby and the dog will lap it up too if there is a little to spare.
    Thanks for the tip about the carcasses from the butcher. XX

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pamela

    Sometimes we add it too. This recipe is just an introduction to the big chicken soup adventure…

  9. For me, good chicken soup always has pearl barley in it.

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mark

    You freeze it complete. We freeze it in individual portions to be derfrosted when one of us is ill or under the weather.

    I had bad flu last winter and all I wanted was this soup. I thought we have run out so didn’t mention it. When I got better and checked the freezer I found that we had a decent stash of it!

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