Chicken Soup AKA Jewish Penicillin

Chicken soup is a traditional dish of the Jewish kitchen. The 12th-century rabbi and physician Maimonides touted the benefits of chicken soup to one's health.

The soup is prepared with herbs like parsley and fresh dill or thyme, was often served with kneidlach (matzah balls),kreplach (dumplings), lokshen (flat egg noodles), or mandlen (soup "nuts"). A traditional garnish was unlaid chicken eggs, which were taken from a hen and boiled in the soup. Modern health standards make these difficult to obtain now.

Everybody has their own way of making chicken soup. Making stock is a simple concept and recipes abound, along with opinions on which way is the best way. Feel free to dress it up the way you like it– add a parsnip for sweetness, half an onion or thyme for a rustic flavor, or garlic for depth. Use your imagination, or your bubbe’s favorite ingredients. Play around till the flavor is right for you!

On its own, chicken soup is gluten free and very healthy– a great source of protein, with healing qualities. It helps to clear your sinuses and warm you from the inside. From the basic soup recipe, a starch of your choice can be added– rice, egg noodles, kreplach, or veggies like squash, zucchini, and potatoes.

However many make it as Matzo Ball Soup.