Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jewish Penicillin

I have been nursing a chest cold for far too long. The only thing sure to make me feel better and clear me up is my chicken soup. The aroma of it simmering on the stove makes me feel better already.

Jewish Chicken Soup

1 3+ pound chicken (or 5 lbs of chicken parts or backs and necks)

2 or 3 large onions

5 stalks of celery (use the leaves too if you have them)

8 carrots (I use the whole 1 lb bag of organic carrots)

1 parsnip

1 small turnip (optional)

1 or 2 small zucchini

1 bunch of Italian parsley

1 bunch of dill

3 whole cloves of garlic

Salt to taste

Wash chicken in cold water and place in a large pot. Peel onions and place whole in pot. Wash celery and cut stalks in half and place in pot. Peel carrots wash and place whole in pot. Peel parsnip, wash, cut into pieces and place in pot. Wash zucchini and cut into 4 pieces and place in pot. Peel garlic and place in pot. Cover all the ingredients in the pot with cold water. There should only be about an inch of water above all the ingredients. Do not use too much water!!!

Bring the soup to a boil and skim any foam off the top. Wash the parsley and the dill and place on top of the soup. Cover the pot but leave the cover slightly askew. Add salt to taste. Simmer for about three hours. Remove the chicken and veggies from the soup. Strain the soup through a strainer. Slice the carrots and add to the soup. You can use the cooked chicken for something else or shred the meat and add it to the soup. Serve with cooked small noodles such as orzo or egg barley. This soup will cure colds, flu, and just about anything that ails you.
Keep the noodles separate from the soup or else they will "suck"up all the broth. Put a portion of noodles in the bowl and then ladle soup over top. This soup is also fabulous with Matzo Balls.

Matzo Balls
adapted from Claudia Roden's recipe (from "The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York")Thanks to my friend Lori for turning me on to this easy recipe.

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the lightly beaten yolks, as well as the matzo meal and salt until well amalgamated. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a pot of well-salted boiling water, roll dough into 3/4-inch (2-cm) balls and simmer in the water for 20 minutes. Lift from water with slotted spoon and keep warm. Serve with hot soup.
You can add some finely chopped parsley or some ground ginger to these. Also a little cayenne pepper is also nice. I love them straight up.


  1. Thank you Linda! As you know, I lost your cherished recipe a computer ago.

    I'm so happy you're blogging and have chosen to generously share your recipe for Jewish Penicillin for all to enjoy. It's the best chicken soup I've ever tasted.

    Thanks again, you've made my week. And of course I'll think of you each time I enjoy it.

    Mazel tov! ~m.

  2. Oh Mary, thank you so much! You are my very first "comment"...I am honored!

    Enjoy the soup...everyone needs a
    little stash of this one in the freezer! For those chicken soup emergencies!

  3. Oooo, I've been wanting matzoh ball soup. I'm not Jewish, so it doesn't take me back, per se, but I do think it's great. Thanks for sharing your commenter-approved recipe! ;)

  4. Aleta...thank you so much for your kind words! Even if you do not make the Matzo Balls ,this soup is wonderful with kids love it with tiny,chewy, is very comforting!

  5. There is nothing better than this soup for whatever ails you (or doesn't) that is for sure... This was a staple in my house growing up... Looks amazing.

  6. I LOVE matzoh ball soup! Yours looks wonderful :)

  7. After living with a jewish roommate in college, I developed a serious addiction to matzo balls. What a delicious sounding broth. Thanks for sharing.

  8. love, love, love matzo ball soup, but have never made it from scratch. and it's so versatile because you can add a bunch of different vegetables.

  9. This is THE BEST soup!! No matter how bad I'm feeling, this soup makes me feel better. Delicious. Thanks, Linda :)

  10. Thank you all for your lovely comments...and thanks so much for stopping by my new blog!

    Lori...those Matzo Balls came right from you! They rock!:)Love ya girl!


  11. Linda, I blogged about your fabulous soup!!! And linked back here :) Thanks for sharing this super recipe.


  12. Lizzy...thanks so much! I am glad you love this soup s much as we do!