I am sorry I have been neglectful. I have been cooking. I just got back from a mini-vacation to The City of Brotherly Love. It was a nice trip. After 4 days of eating in restaurants though, I wanted something comforting and home-made. It had to be soup. There is something so comforting and warming about the perfect chicken soup. Throw in a matzo ball and a few egg noodles, and I am in soup heaven.
Of course everyone has their own version of chicken soup. Some like it packed with stuff, some like broth, some like lots of chicken parts in it, some even add meat to it (the horror!). I like my soup simple. I like it with some veggies, but with the broth strained. I like minimal chicken parts in the soup.
I was never given a recipe for soup. I am sure if I asked my mom, she would give me a rundown of what needs to go in soup. What I learned about soup, I learned from watching – except my mom does her chicken parts differently.
I used a huge stock pot, so I can freeze several meals of soup for later. I gather carrots, 3 yellow onions, 1 head of garlic, 3 parsnip, 2 turnips, celery, and some fresh dill, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and of course – the chicken. This batch was made with a couple pounds of chicken wings, but any bone-in chicken parts would work. My mom uses a “soup chicken,” but I can’t get those at my local store.
I chop up the veggies.
Sauté the chopped onions, carrots, and celery. When the veggies are soft, add in the root veggies. I sometimes will add some sweet potato to the mix. Fill up the pot – not too full so it boils over, with cold water. I then put the chicken parts in a cheesecloth bag and deposit it in the soup-to-be. Add in the bay leaf and dill. The stove should be set to medium-high. The lid should be off. Let the soup come to a boil, this can take 30 minutes or so, depending on amount of liquid. I like to let the soup boil down a bit with the lid halfway on, so that the soup flavor is more concentrated. After slow boiling it for an hour, I let the soup simmer on low-ish overnight – the way my mom does it. In the morning you have an amazing wonderful smell coming from your kitchen.
Let the soup cool. Place the soup in to containers for eating later, or dig in. As far as the whole matzo ball/noodle part of the soup, those should not be frozen. Matzo balls and noodles should be made the day of soup eating. I buy my noodles. I like the thin egg noodles. I like the matzo ball mixes just fine, but the recipes that are on the back of the matza meal boxes work just fine. If you want your matza balls extra fluffy, some like to add a little bit of seltzer to the mix. Enjoy!