Homemade Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich, savory, homemade chicken soup that I make for Jewish holidays as well as for occasional cold days. I usually make with matzo balls and sometimes with noodles for a warming one pot meal.

Credit: This recipe was originally given to me by a friend , Michelle, years ago. She originally got it from her husband’s grandmother. I have personalized it a bit over the years. Thank you Michelle for the recipe.


  • 14 cups of water
  • 1 whole chicken cleaned and washed. (Instead I often use a couple of large bone-in chicken breasts because it is easier and I don’t like dark meat chicken – but a whole chicken will add more flavor).
  • 1 large onion, quartered.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and quartered
  • 1 rutabaga, quartered (I couldn’t find this today, so I left it out and the soup still tasted fine)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill, whole including stems
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Optional – 1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock or broth. (If you use a whole chicken cook longer and leave the stock out- also you may need to add another quart of water if cooking longer).
  • Matzo balls (optional)
  • Noodles or pasta (optional)


  1. Add the water to a large Dutch oven or pot. Add chicken and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms. Boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Chop vegetables while the pot is boiling.
  3. Add the vegetables and herbs after the chicken has boiled for 15 minutes. Bring back to a boil, then turn down to a rapid simmer, cover and cook for 2-2 ½ hours (or longer if using whole chicken and you don’t want to add stock- 4-6 hours will make it quite rich).
  4. Add stock (if using) after an hour of cooking. Check occasionally that the soup is just simmering gently, with small bubbles-not large ones – continually, but slowly rising to the top – this keeps the soup translucent. It is also recommended not to stir the soup vigorously (this helps to keep it clear).
  5. Once the soup has the desired flavor, strain the soup. Keep the chicken parts and vegetables that you like. I usually keep the carrots and chicken and discard the rest. Be careful to discard all the chicken bones. Return the chicken and vegetables you want to keep to the strained soup. Ideally let cool for a couple of hours or refrigerate overnight and skim the fat off the top.
  6. When ready to serve re-heat for 30 minutes or so. I sometimes add some extra fresh carrot slices at this point because not everyone likes really soft carrots.
  7. Serve in a bowl with matzo balls, or noodles or rice. I usually make simple matzo balls from the mix (recently noticed this is pretty high in sodium) or from the recipe on the back of a matzo meal box.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com  October 2016

The vegetables and dill
The soup cooking with all the vegetables and herbs
The finished soup. Strained and served with chicken, a carrot and a matzo ball. So warm and satisfying!

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