Posts Tagged ‘Grandmother’

Chicken Soup and Soul



We arrived in Baltimore yesterday and my mother has already commandeered all of Luci’s time. Luci calls her Bubbie, which is pretty funny because she looks more like a hamisha Michelle Pfeiffer than she does a bubbie.

This holiday is a little sad since it’s the first one we’re celebrating after my grandmother, Bubbie’s mother, passed away. She was a presence in our family, even when she was ill. I can’t remember a holiday until recently when she didn’t cook, and I can’t remember a holiday where I didn’t see her across the table. What better way to honor her than make her famous chicken soup?

My grandmother made the best chicken soup. I know everyone says that about their grandmother, but hear me out. She had two tips for making it, which I will share along with her recipe. But first, I must caution that in order to make the soup, you must be In The Mood to make this soup, otherwise it will come out tasting lopsided. I’m not kidding. It’s the same way that feeling amorous makes a kiss infinitely more passionate. Being In The Mood to make this soup is like another ingredient. It’s almost as if the chicken and carrots know when you’re just throwing them into the pot to impress someone with how you make soup, as opposed to being In The Mood, and cooking it tenderly in anticipation of a warm gathering. You have to cook it with that kind of feeling, and the soup will be twice as good. Trust me.

I’m excited to share this recipe. I’ve never believed in keeping recipes secret. You can give ten people the exact same recipe, and it will come out tasting ten different ways. Anyway, I never got the point of keeping something tasty all to yourself.

So, here you go, this is Ruthie’s  Famous Chicken Soup.

Ruthie's Famous Chicken Soup
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1 2–4 lb. Kosher chicken (If you like chicken salad I suggest getting a chicken on the meatier side and making my chicken salad recipe with the leftovers.)
4 tbs. Croydon House instand soup mix
6 Carrots
6 Stalks Celery
1 Large Onion
A spring each of parsley and dill
Put all the ingredients in a large pot of water. Bring it to a boil. Cover and let simmer all day so the flavors get married in the pot. It’s a mitzvah to see them get married.
As mentioned, letting the soup simmer all day is one of my grandmother’s tips for making great soup. The other tip is to remove the chicken, and use a stick blender in the pot until the vegetables are chunky before pulling the meat off the bone and putting it back in. The carrots and celery add a rich color, and the soup becomes slightly thicker.
And here is a tip of my own. Add some barely cooked spaghetti instead of traditional egg noodles. The al dente firmness holds up well when sitting in the bowl.
The Anonymous Eater
There will likely be a lot of chicken leftover even if you like a good amount in your soup. Since I subscribe to the theory cook once, eat at least three times, later this week I will share the best chicken salad recipe ever. And that’s saying a lot.