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Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Chicken Soup

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This is not an old family recipe taught to me by my grandmother, but I felt my web site did not deserve to include a recipe for matzo balls without also including a recipe for the soup in which the critters go.

2 large chickens - buy fowls (larger, older chickens sold for soup making) if you can find them
I find Roche Brothers supermarket in Acton, MA sometimes has fowls; you can call ahead and request them. Star Market in Concord has had them from a local farm. The former Concord Stop and Shop carried Perdue fowls. Cut up each of the chickens into about 10 large pieces. You might save some of the large pieces of the fat for making rendered chicken fat.

about 12 chicken feet
This is an optional ingredient which is tough to find. Boston's Chinatown has these. When these are used, the soup has a thicker, jelled, consistency, which I consider optional.

2 medium onions
peeled and chopped into large pieces

2 stalks of celery
cleaned and chopped into large pieces; don't use the leaves

2 medium carrots
trim off the ends and slice into medium pieces

2-4 Tbl. chopped parsley


1-2 Tbl. salt


5-6 quarts water
whatever it takes to cover all the other ingredients

  1. Place all the ingredients into a large pot and cook it for many hours - at least about 6 hours. It should not boil - keep the pot on low heat so it simmers.

  2. Let this cool down, which might take a few hours, just to be safer when you pour out the liquid.

  3. Pour or ladle the liquid from the cooking pot into other containers while straining the solids out. Throw away the totally cooked solids, since they have very little taste. I have experimented with saving the carrots and serving them in the soup, especially for color; I consider this optional.

  4. Refrigerate the soup at least overnight. Give it enough time for the fat to come to the surface and solidify. Then skim off that fat and either save it to use as lesser-quality rendered chicken fat or discard it. When saving it, you can fry some chopped onions in the fat for improved flavor and color, as I do when making rendered chicken fat.

  5. When you are ready to serve it, merely heat up the soup. A worthy addition are my matzo balls.

back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on June 10, 2014 .