Classic Jewish Chicken Soup

Classic Jewish Chicken Soup

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Chicken soup is a Jewish favorite all over the world. Among East European Jews it had a ritual significance because it was served to a bride and groom to break their wedding-day fast. Jewish chicken soup has become symbolic of Jewish cooking. Amazingly, scientists have discovered that chicken soup really does help cure a cold, so it's not just an old wives' tale! Try to use larger, older fowls, since they have more flavor. Add the gizzard, neck, and heart to the soup whenever possible. Some Jewish cooks also add the feet (Romanian Jews consider the feet a delicacy!), which are believed to add flavor; just remove them before serving the soup. With modern poultry rearing, it is rare to find unhatched eggs inside a chicken, but if you do, they make a delicious addition to the soup. For kashrut purposes, unhatched eggs are considered meat, not pareve as are hatched eggs, so they must be koshered in the same way as meat. If the chicken in this recipe is to be eaten separately, you may find it tastier if you brown it first in a little chicken fat.
Servings: 8
Calories: 225


  • 1 large chicken about 3 pounds, with giblets
  • 1 large onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 bunch about 8 ounces fresh parsley
  • 2 large white turnips quartered
  • 1 stalk celery coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


  • Scald the chicken by pouring boiling water over it inside and out. Put the chicken into a stew pot or Dutch oven. Add water to cover and place pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off the foam as it accumulates. When the water boils, reduce the heat and add the vegetables. Cover the pot and simmer for 3 hours over very low heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and serve it separately or cut it into serving pieces and add it to soup just before serving.
  • Strain the soup, discarding the vegetables. Wipe the surface with a paper towel to soak up excess fat. Or, better still, cool the soup, refrigerate it, and remove the fat which will have solidified on top; then reheat soup.
  • Taste soup, and add the seasonings before serving.
Calories: 225 kcal
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Protein: 18 g
Fat: 14g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Trans Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 71 mg
Sodium: 389 mg
Potassium: 309 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 2 g
Vitamin A: 2684 IU
Vitamin C: 10 mg
Calcium: 28 mg
Iron: 1 mg
Cuisine Jewish
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