Jewish Mother Chicken Noodle Soup
Updated: Aug 18, 2019
Not only is this soup delicious, it's straight-up medicine. When you or a friend is feeling under the weather, you should definitely have this recipe up your sleeve. You're pretty much just dumping a bunch of stuff in a stock pot and letting it simmer for a couple hours; it's so easy to make!
Even though there are only 10-20 minutes of active work, you do need to be home 3 hours to monitor the stove, so we recommend picking a day you have a lot of homework or stuff to do at home. Once the soup is made, you can freeze it for at least a month or keep it in the fridge for up to a week. You can eat it as is or incorporate your homemade stock in other recipes.
Dairy-free. Can be made gluten-free by omitting the noodles, using rice instead, or substituting gluten-free noodles.
1 whole raw chicken
1 pound additional bony chicken parts, such as legs, wings, necks and backs
1 large yellow onion
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 pound carrots
1/2 bunch celery
1 pound parnips
1 sweet potato (optional)
1 bunch parsley leaves and stems (optional)
Egg noodles, cooked al dente, for serving (optional)
Dill, optional, for serving
Carefully rinse the chicken pieces in cold water and place in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with cold water, enough to cover all the eventual ingredients. Set the pot on medium-high heat, starting to bring it to a boil as you prep the vegetables.
After prepping a vegetable, add to the pot and move onto the next. Peel and roughly slice the onion. Peel, trim, and halve the carrots. Trim and halve the celery. Peel, trim, and halve the parsnips. Peel and halve the ginger. Peel and chop the sweet potato. Add the parsley.
Bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer 3 hours. My Aunt Rachel cracks the lid a little to allow the soup to concentrate, while my mom does not. Don't tell my mom but I am partial to Aunt Rachel's soup.
Turn off the heat. If you have time to spare, you can let the soup sit on the stove for 30 minutes to an hour with the heat off. Otherwise, continue but be careful; it will be very hot.
In the sink, prepare a metal colander or large sieve set over a very large bowl or a second, slightly smaller pot. Strain the soup through the colander, into the second bowl/pot. (Try to pour the broth out on its own and keep the chicken in the original pot without plopping it into the colander).
Use a fork to pick out the chicken meat from the skin and bones. Store in an airtight container. If desired, remove the cooked carrots from the colander and store in another airtight container. Thank the rest of the ingredients for their service and discard.
Salt generously to taste (it will need a lot), serve immediately as a broth with noodles, chicken, dill, and carrots; if desired. Alternatively, let cool completely before storing. If not freezing, you can store the soup in the original stock pot, covered. When kept in the fridge, your homemade broth will congeal. This is normal, desirable, and an indication of a well-made broth.
For extra freshness, peel and slice new carrots and celery, simmer 30 minutes in the stock before serving.
Jeremy Scheck is the founder and editor-in-chief of Collegetown Kitchen and After School Bakery. He is a student at Cornell University in the class of 2022 studying Spanish, Italian, and nutrition. Aproveche, buon appetito and bon appétit!