Tuesday, 17 June 2008

jewish chicken soup aka. penecillin in a soup pot

I may be a small Asian girl but when I say that this soup recipe is the real deal, you can believe it. I was given this recipe by my boyfriend's mother, so yes it is a Jewish Mother recipe.

It is also comforting, delicious and the best thing for keeping the sniffles at bay.


2 parsnips, quartered (these are for flavour, not for serving)
3 medium sized carrots
1 medium sized brown onion
3 celery stalks
1 medium sized organic chicken
A few extra chicken wings or drumsticks to add flavour to the stock
A tiny dash of ground cinammon

Matzo balls:

1 cup of coarse matzo meal
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
1 large tablespoon of chicken/duck fat
1/2 brown onion
a small amount of flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste


1. Peel and chop the carrots into rounds, around 1/2cm thick.

2. Finely dice the celery and onion.

3. In a large pot, melt a tablespoon of chicken or duck fat on a low heat and fry off the vegetables until the onions have become translucent, but do not let them brown.

4. Place the washed chicken on top of the vegetables and top with room temperature water to cover the chicken, season generously with salt and pepper (around 2tbs salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper should do it). Also add the cinnamon.

5. Bring the pot to the boil, continually skimming off any scum that rises to the top.

6. Allow the pot to lightly boil for around an hour until the meat starts to fall off the bones.

7. Remove the carcass from the soup and allow to cool.

8. Once the chicken has slightly cooled, remove the skin and bones and extra fat, shred the chicken meat and return it to the pot with the vegetables.

(at this point, I like to roast the skin in the oven until it's crisp and eat it as a chef's treat as well as roast the bones to make stock)

9. Bring the soup back to the boil and continue skimming it - a successful broth will be really clear.

10. To make the matzoh balls, finely dice the onion and fry them in the chicken fat until the onions turn translucent.

11. Once cool, transfer the fat and onions to a bowl, add matzo meal, egg, finely chopped parsley, water, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Combine.

12. Roll into golf-sized balls and allow to sit for 10 minutes. These will swell when cooking.

13. Boil a saucepan of water. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, gently lower the balls in and boil for about 15 minutes (if the water is not hot enough, they will break apart. It happened to me when making them at Passover dinner one year at my ex-boyfriend's house. Mortifying.).

14. Once the balls are cooked, remove from the water and set aside.

To serve the traditional way, ladle only the clear chicken soup and perhaps a piece of carrot into a bowl. Serve with 1-2 matzo balls.

Many people appreciate what a waste the chicken meat and veg are, and prefer to include these in the serving - it's more substantial and nourishing.


floridagirlinsydney said...

I am seriously dying laughing reading this post-- your boyfriend is hot.
- a Jewish mother who has never made matzah balls, but my husband would probably like it if I did