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Basic Chicken Soup

Yield 6 Servings (serving size: 1/6 of recipe)
This savory cure-all is also a good base for other dishes.


  • 1 large chicken, about 3 to 4 pounds, excess fat removed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices or strips
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into thin slices or strips
  • 4 peppercorns or freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • 2 cups cooked egg noodles, 1 cup cooked rice, or 6 ready-made matzoh balls, optional

How to Make It

  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and pour in enough cold water to cover about three-quarters of the bird. (For more broth, add more cold water.) Add the carrots, celery, peppercorns or freshly ground black pepper, onions, bay leaf, most of the parsley, and salt to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Simmer until the chicken is cooked (the drumsticks should be very loose) and the broth is flavorful, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  2. If the chicken is done but you want a more flavorful broth, remove the bird from the pot and set aside. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to taste. Skim off the fat. Season as desired.

  3. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the soup. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, shred it, and add back to the soup. Add the cooked egg noodles, rice, or matzoh balls, if desired. (If you want to use the broth or stock only, strain the soup and use as needed. Reserve chicken for another dish.)

  4. How kids can help: Measure ingredients.