Traditional chicken soup

Mitzvah Day is all about chicken soup this year. Join the thousands of volunteers making soup for the needy, with this classic recipe from Evelyn Rose

  • place SERVES 4 - 6
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 Chicken soup is traditionally made by simmering a fowl with giblets in water flavoured with a variety of vegetables. However, if the fowl is to be casseroled rather than boiled for another dish, or a younger bird roasted or fried, then the soup can be made with just the wings and giblets with vegetables, and the flavour strengthened using a chicken stock cube. 

Adapted from 100 Best Jewish Recipes by Evelyn Rose and Judi Rose, Pavilion  


  • Put the bird, wings and giblets in a large, heavy soup pan with 1.75l/3 pints water, the salt and pepper (the feet would traditionally be added at this stage too). Cover and bring to the boil. Remove any froth with a large, wet metal spoon. 
  • Peel the onion and carrots, cut in half and add to the pan with celery, parsley, and tomato. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid is barely bubbling. Cover and continue to simmer for a further 3 hours, either on top of the stove or in a slow oven at 150°C, or until the chicken feels very tender when a leg is prodded. 
  • Strain the soup into a large bowl; reserve the giblets and carrots in another container. Pour off the fat in batches using a large fat separator. Alternatively, cover and put in the fridge overnight. Next day, remove any congealed fat and return the soup to the pan. (If there is a thick layer of fat, it can be heated in a pan to drive off any liquid and then, when it has stopped bubbling, cooled and stored like rendered raw fat.) 
  • Cut the cooked giblets and the carrots into small dice. Add to the soup with knaidlach, lokshen, vermicelli or egg noodles (allow approximately 15g per person of lokshen cooked according to packet directions). Reheat gently before serving.
Keeps: 3 days refrigerated; 3 months frozen

1 whole or half chicken or fowl, plus wings and giblets (excluding livers)

2 tsp salt 

1 pinch of white pepper 

1 large onion 

2 large carrots 

Leaves and top 5 cm of 2 celery stalks 

1 sprig of parsley 

1 very ripe tomato 

To serve 
knaidlach or lokshen, vermicelli or egg noodles

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