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Bubbe’s Chicken Soup

Bubbe’s Chicken Soup Related:   gluten-free, meat

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 1.5 hr

Yield: ~ a quart of soup

My mother’s Chicken Soup was the BEST! Her secret was to use just barely enough water to cover the chicken in the pot. If you need more soup, buy more chicken, but never add more water. Save enough cooked chicken to serve with the soup and use the rest for chicken salad, stir fry or sliced for salads or sandwiches. I make my matzoh balls straight out of the box and flash-freeze uncooked balls. I always have them on hand and can take out just what I need. Throw into boiling salted water and cook until light and fluffy. Matzoh balls are not gluten-free.


  • 1 whole roasting chicken, 4-5 pounds
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2 large stalks celery cut to fit in the pot or smaller if serving with soup
  • 1 turnip (optional), cut in quarters
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Dill and parsley, optional


Wash chicken thoroughly in cool water, leaving skin and fat on it. Place the whole chicken in a soup pot and fill with just enough cool water to barely cover the chicken. Bring water to a full boil. A foamy residue will form on the surface. Skim the foam off the water and discard. Once all of the foamy residue has been removed, turn heat down and add cut vegetables and salt to pot. Cook covered on low heat until chicken begins to separate from the bones. Remove chicken from soup and cool enough to debone, cutting into smaller pieces if desired. Put chicken meat into a separate dish to be added back into soup when serving. Remove carrots from soup and place in a separate bowl, also to be added back to soup when serving. Remove cooked onions, celery and turnips if used to keep for eating if you like or discarded. Strain the remainder of the soup through cheesecloth put into the bottom of a colander or strainer. Put clear, strained soup back in a pot for re-heating and serving, or a storage container and cool overnight in the refrigerator. When completely cooled, skim the congealed fat off the top or leave it for a richer soup. This skimmed chicken fat (schmaltz) may be used in cooking or discarded. Soup can be heated and served as a clear broth or with carrots and chicken pieces added as well as other vegetables.. When serving, taste and adjust salt and pepper and add dill or parsley if you like. The soup can be frozen with or without the chicken and vegetables. The fat can be skimmed or un-skimmed when frozen, and it also can be skimmed when defrosted.

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