My grandparents Ma and Uputzi (which means “daddy” in Hungarian) made a phenomenally flavorful, golden, clear chicken soup. (My other grandparents, Grandma and Poppy, favored a dark, rich, earthy soup, with lots of chicken feet. Those scaly feet! They’ll never enter my kitchen.) For about eight years, I struggled, slightly crazed, to re-create that soup. I remember Ma serving it piping hot, along with paper-thin slices of raw daikon sprinkled with salt. We would dip them in our soup and purr. This wasn’t just a bowl of soup; it was an experience. But the actual soup recipe remained a mystery. Then one fine morning, as I was driving down I-95, talking to my sister on the phone (hands free!), she mentioned that Aunt Debbie actually had the recipe. I nearly drove off the road. Well, thank G-d for Aunt Debs, because I never would have gotten this right.There’s a green pepper and cauliflower in this chicken soup! Who knew?
Note: For optimum flavor and results, this soup has to be started the night before.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (about 31⁄2 pounds)
- 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 11⁄2 pounds)
- 4 or 5 beef marrow bones (about 2 pounds)
- 5 medium carrots, quartered
- 2 large parsnips, quartered
- 2 small turnips, quartered
- 2 medium parsley roots, quartered, or sub in a combo of more parsnips and turnips
- 1 large green bell pepper, halved, ribs and seeds removed
- 1⁄2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 large onion
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 20 parsley sprigs
- 7 garlic cloves
- 20 black or white peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 1⁄8 inch julienne
- 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into 1⁄8-inch julienne
- 1 large daikon, peeled, cut into 1⁄8-inch julienne
- 1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked and drained, at room temperature
1. Place the chicken, marrow bones, carrots, parsnips, turnips, parsley roots, green pepper, cauliflower, onion, and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a 12-quart stockpot. Cover with 6 quarts cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim and discard the foam that forms at the top when it comes to a boil.
2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons salt, the parsley, garlic, peppercorns, and allspice and return to a boil. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 1 hour. Remove the 4 chicken breasts and allow them to cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones. Shred or chop the meat and store it in the fridge to serve in the soup or for another use. Return the bones to the pot. Continue simmering, covered, over low heat, for at least 2 hours more.
3. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander lined with cheesecloth or a clean T-shirt. Discard all the solids or save them for another use. Chill the broth overnight.
4. To serve the soup, remove the surface fat and pour the broth into a large pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until warm, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the zucchini, carrot, daikon, and the reserved chicken, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes to cook the vegetables and heat the chicken. Be careful to keep the soup over low heat; bringing the soup to a boil can make it cloudy. Season to taste with salt.
5. Place 1⁄4 cup cooked angel hair in each soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Serve immediately.
6. This soup can be frozen after the surface fat is removed. You can freeze the breast meat separately if you want to use it for other dishes.
Recipe originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Fall 2014