One of my favorite meals is the corn beef sandwich and cup of matza ball soup found in Jewish delicatesian. Two of my favorite spots for this are Jerry’s Deli and Canter’s Deli on Fairfax in Los Angeles. If you ever get to Los Angeles, I highly recommend making a trip to Canter’s Deli. After college, I packed up my stuff and moved to Hollywood to get into the movie business. I quit my restaurant job the week after graduation because I didn’t want to be like a lot of my friends who had graduated and continued to work at the restaurant. It was compelling because the pay was good enough to live and party and enjoy life.
I had a tough time finding work in Hollywood and finally got a job for $250 per week on a movie set. When the film ended, I was broke and sent out a few resumes to restaurants trying to get any work I could to catch up on my bills. Ironically Canter’s called me a year later, at which time I had started to make good money and didn’t bother calling them back. After the third call, the manager left me a mean message about not calling her back. I didn’t think obligated to return the call because it took them a year to call me for an interview. The point of the story is this place always had horrible service but amazing food.
Chicken soup is one of those comfort foods that I always believed to heal the soul. There is a reason why they call it Jewish Penicillin. I’m all for adding Matza Balls or noodles or whatever you like. My preference is to add a lot of vegetables. I usually add Turnips, Rutabaga, and Parsnip, but you don’t have to. If you are sick, this recipe is all the Penicillin you need.
The worst part of making this is cleaning out the chicken. I always use a whole chicken and my dutch oven is 12 quarts so I really need a 3 pound chicken which is very tough to find. Generally organic chickens are smaller so look for that. The photo here is a 4 pound chicken, which fills the pan and limits the amount of brooth and vegetables you can add.
My wife got the dutch oven I used in the photos from Amazon Basics. I love it and the price is incredible. If you don’t have a dutch oven look for it to be on sale on Prime Day or Black Friday.
Why do they call Chicken Soup Jewish penicillin
The main reason people say this is because it’s loaded with vegetables and fresh herbs. Eating hot soup when you are sick helps clean the sinuses. This recipe is loaded with vitamins and minerals, which helps boost the immune system. Your body’s immune system is what helps you get over a cold. You can ask your doctor what you should eat when you are sick, most of them will tell you hot soup. Making soup from scratch has a lot less sodium than eating chicken soup out of a can. My personal opinion is the key is all the fresh vegetables.
How to make chicken soup taste better!
The key to tasty chicken soup is using fresh vegetables and herbs.Print
Chicken Soup AKA Jewish Penicillin
Homemade chicken soup is surprisingly easy to make. This recipe is from my wife’s family. Her mom taught me who learned it from her grandmother.
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 4 Hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 Servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Dutch Oven
- Cuisine: Jewish
1 Yellow Onion
12 cups Water
4 Tablespoons Chicken Stock Powder
3 pound Whole Chicken
1/2 pound Celery
1/2 pound Carrots
1 Bunch Parsley
1 Bunch Dill
2 Tablespoons Black Peper
1 – Heat 12 cups of water to boil, add chicken stock powder
2 – Add diced onions
3 – Add clean whole chicken
4 – Bring to boil and let cook on low to medium heat for 20 minutes
5 – Add vegetables and fresh herbs.
6 – Cook on low for 2 hours
7 – Remove the chicken and strip the meat off the bird
8 – Cook one more hour.
Be sure to wash the bird. Make sure not to leave the giblets in the bird. The key to making this recipe is using fresh herbs. Do not use dried parsley or dried dill.
The soup always tastes better the next day, so you might want to make this one day prior. I also freeze most of it to have on hand when ever someone gets sick. This is one of the few things I love to freeze.