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When I make homemade chicken soup I make tons. I use the largest pot I can find in my kitchen and I fill it to the brim with chicken, vegetables, herbs and water.  I usually serve some soup for Shabbat dinner and then I freeze the rest. With the cold weather upon us, it’s even reached us out here in Southern California, I was tempted to pull some of soup out of the freezer and change it up a bit. Here’s my recipe for Traditional Chicken Soup and some fun ways to spice it up.

TOOLS- large chicken soup pot (16 – 20 quart)


1 chickens cut into eights, cleaned of fat and some skin
4 chicken legs, cleaned of excess fat
2 large parsnip, peeled and cut in half
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
3 stalks of celery, cut in half
2 yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
1 -2 large leeks, discard green, wash and cut in half
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in half
3 bunches curly parsley
3 bunches dill
black pepper corns
kosher salt to taste
extra – some soup seasoning or bullion if you’d like


  1. Wash the chicken well in the cold water.
  2. Tie parsley and dill bunches together with cooking twine.
  3. Place everything in the pot and cover with cold water.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 – 7 hours.
  5. Allow the soup to cool in the refrigerator overnight. 
  6. Remove the parsley and dill.  Begin removing the vegetables that you’d like to serve in the soup.  Reserve them in a separate bowl.  Do the same with the pieces of chicken.
  7. Strain the remaining soup so that all of the bones, fat, excess pieces can be discarded.
  8. Re-warm your saved vegetables and chicken in the soup before serving.  Season with kosher salt.

NOTE: The easiest way to store chicken soup is to ladle it into doubled gallon sized zip-lock bags.  Lay the filled bags onto a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen you can line the bags up vertically to save space.

CHANGE IT UP – some fun ways to change up your chicken soup when you’re in the mood for a twist on the traditional

Asian Chicken Soup – When reheating your soup, add one smashed spicy birds eye chile, 1 large piece of peeled fresh ginger, 1 1-inch long piece of smashed lemongrass, chopped boy choy, baby corn and sliced shitake mushrooms. Your soup will take on the flavors of Thailand.  You can boil up your favorite Asian noodles or add some beef dumplings from the Chinese restaurant.  Before serving, drizzle some sesame oil over the top.

Mediterranean Bean Soup – Soak a bag of mixed beans and lentils overnight in water.  Add the soaked beans to your soup and cook the beans for 1 hour.  Shred the chicken in your soup so it’s in little pieces and add a bunch of cleaned escarole for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Mexican Chicken Soup – Add a can of crushed tomatoes and a bunch of cilantro to your chicken soup while reheating it.  Drizzle some hot sauce over the soup and add tortilla strips and chopped avocado.

Created by Goldfinger Consulting
© The Kosher Girl 2011