Since March is National Nutrition Month, I would like to share a special recipe from my dad’s (Chef David Waltuck) cookbook. The recipe is chicken soup with fresh herbs. Chicken soup is a delightful food to have on cold days. It’s also a good meal to have when you get sick, since it could help relieve cold symptoms.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this soup are:
1 bunch of fresh dill
1 bunch of fresh chervil or 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 quarts of chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth.
You’ll also need:
2 whole chickens (about 3 1/2 pounds each), quartered
1 large onion, diced
8 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
5 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and homemade matzoh balls (optional).
Bind the dill, chervil and parsley together in a big bunch using butcher’s twine. If you’re using tarragon, simply sprinkle it in after pouring the stock into the pot. Place the bunch of herbs into a large stockpot with the chicken stock and pieces of chicken.
Set the stockpot over high heat and bring it to a boil, all while skimming the surface as the foam comes to the top of the mixture. Reduce the heat to a low temperature, cover, and simmer the chicken broth for about 45 minutes until the chickens are cooked thoroughly. Test the chickens to make sure they’re finished by piercing a thigh with a fork. The juices of the chickens need to run clear.
Carefully take the chicken pieces out of the broth and set aside to cool. Remove and throw away the herb bundle.
Add the onion, carrots, and parsnips to the broth and bring the pot back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are nice and tender.
As the vegetables cook, take the skin off the pieces of chicken and remove the meat from the bones. Deftly slice up the meat and add it to the soup before simmering it for 10 minutes longer to reheat. Remove the pot from the hot stove and season the soup with salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you’d like to cook matzoh balls in the soup, place the batter into the mixture after the vegetables simmer for 20 minutes and before you add the chicken. The matzoh balls should take about 15 to 20 minutes to poach in the hot soup. When they’re done, the matzoh balls will bob to the surface of the soup. After the matzoh balls have cooked for 10 minutes, add the chicken. If you’ve cooked them separately and they’re still warm, put them in the soup 5 minutes after you add the chicken to it. If the matzoh balls are cool, however, add them and the chicken at the same time.
I hope you enjoy this tasty recipe. Which nutritious foods do you love to cook for the Winter season?