Chicken Soup is part of Jewish folklore and has magical properties ascribed to it, hence its other name of Jewish Penicillin. This recipe will keep a family happy for several nights, depending on their appetites.
1 boiling chicken, chopped into portions to make it easier. If you can obtain the giblets (except for the liver) so much the better
onions, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
3 carrots, peeled and each cut into two or three pieces
2 turnips, cut into halves
2 or 3 stalks of celery cut into halves
A couple of leeks, cleaned and cut into two or three pieces (optional)
A few peppercorns
Some parsley leaves if you have them
Put everything into a large stockpot and cover with water. Put on the hob and heat gradually, removing the scum as it rises to the surface.
Turn down the heat to simmer and leave to cook slowly for two or three hours. Remove from the heat, leave to cool and then strain into a clean pan. The soup is best if refrigerated overnight so that the fat rises to the top and can be removed easily.
What you now have can be used as the basis for an authentic chicken soup, or can just be used as a chicken stock.
Serve with lockshen, another name for fine vermicelli, or you could use any other small soup pasta. Another essential ingredient is kneidlach or matzo balls. I don’t know anybody who makes their own from scratch these days; we all buy the packet mix made by Telma, which can be purchased from Jewish delis, or from Jewish or kosher supermarket counters. These are simple to make with the addition of an egg. And as Jewish mothers and grandmothers the world over would say ‘enjoy’.