Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Judith Lerner’s Chicken Soup

Judith Lerner’s Chicken Soup


  • 1 Whole Empire or organic chicken
  • A good handful whole curly parsley on stalks, well washed, remove before serving
  • A few whole stalks dill weed, well washed, remove before serving
  • 2-3 Apples, whole, Remove before serving
  • 3 Bay Leaves, remove before serving
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled and Sliced
  • 3 Small Parsnips, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Turnips or Rutabaga, Peeled and diced (optional)
  • 3 3 large celery stalks with leaves, sliced
  • 1 pound onions, sliced
  • 2 or to taste whole, unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 large leek including the green parts, well cleaned, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne


  1. water to cover well
  2. garnish finely minced fresh curly parsley and dillweed
  3. garnish: lukshen/noodles, farfel/chopped noodles or mandlen/baked soup nuts, preferably homemade
  4. Prepare soup a day ahead. Soup will be best if all ingredients are organic.
  5. Tie parsley and dill stalks together in a bunch. Bring all ingredients except garnishes gently to a boil. This produces better flavors and textures than bringing rapidly to a boil.
  6. Cover. Lower heat to simmer. Cook slowly two or three hours to develop rich flavor. Skim foam if you like; I do not do this.
  7. Chill overnight. Remove most but not all of the congealed fat. A few drops of fat between the garnishes in each soup bowl is traditional.
  8. Gently reheat. Remove apple skins -- the apple pulp will have melted into the soup -- bay leaves, parsley & dill before serving. Serve in wide, flat bowls garnished as desired.
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 90 minutes to 3 hours
  • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes - 3+ hours

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Categories: Heirloom Recipes, Special Diets

Tags: Judith Lerner, chicken soup, traditional chicken soup