Easy and Delicious Family Passover Recipes - Installment Three: Chicken Soup - the Way your Bubbe Made It
In this week before Passover, we are featuring favorite Passover recipes shared by Akiba-Schechter families, all of which have been collected by Mrs. Brackman's 3rd/4th graders in this beautiful Passover cookbook.
Today's recipe comes from the Hameiri/Bloch Family, with instructions from mom Helen Bloch:
(The way your Bubbe made it, minus the feet and the schmaltz!)
Here are the ingredients for Jewish penicillin, a.k.a. chicken soup (don’t forget to add the salt & pepper):
For an 8-quart pot, use 1 chicken, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tsp pepper, and less of each vegetable.
For the large pot, use 2 chickens, at least 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 tsp pepper.
Vegetables:Carrots: 8 ounces for the small pot, 16 ounces for the large pot, peel skin. If you like a sweeter soup, add extra carrots.
Celery: Unless you like a sweeter soup, use about as many stalks of celery per large carrot included
Squash (take out the seeds, peel off the outer skin & cut into pieces)
Leek (take apart and clean each piece, there can be lots of dirt inside each section)
The laborious part is cleaning the chicken and cutting the vegetables. The lazy way to make the soup is to buy the vegetables already cut up.
Cut up chicken into at least 8 pieces, take off the skin and any excess fat. In addition to 1 or 2 chickens, I include leftover chicken necks that I save throughout the year in the freezer.
Cut up the vegetables.
Put chicken pieces and vegetables into your pot along with the salt and pepper. Fill with water until everything is covered. Often, I put the chicken on the bottom along with the diced carrots and celery, and then put a strainer on top, into which I put all of the other vegetables. (When the soup is done, I lift the strainer with the vegetables, strain out the liquid, put the liquid back into the pot, and throw out the strained vegetables.)
Once everything is in the pot, turn on high to bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium low heat, cover the pot and cook for a few hours. If you are not going to serve the soup that day, put it in the fridge and later skim the fat off the top. But even if you serve the soup right away, there is not much fat since the skin is removed from the chicken.
If the soup is served as a stand-alone meal, I will add noodles and a piece of chicken to each bowl, such as a leg or some breast meat.
If the soup is just a first or second course, I might include a few pieces of chicken that have separated during cooking in individual bowls.
When I make a big pot of chicken soup, there are usually leftovers, so I will portion out meals for four people in Ziploc bags that I then freeze. I will include enough pieces of chicken in each bag so that it can be eaten as a one-pot meal. To defrost and serve, I just take out the Ziploc bag, cut it open and put the contents in a pot to warm up.