There is a reason they named the the popular book series “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” For thousands of years, chicken soup has seemed to have unexplainable therapeutic qualities and has been a go-to remedy for everything from relieving colds to broken hearts. In fact, the 12th century Jewish philosopher Maimonides claimed in his book “On the Cause of Symptoms” that chicken soup would cure asthma and leprosy.

In the early 16th century, European immigrants including Jews, Mennonites and Amish, brought chicken soup to America. And certain ethnic groups added their own flair to the popular dish by adding in different ingredients like herbs and corn. In the early 20th century, everyone’s favorite chicken soup accompaniment, matzah balls, were introduced and began to show up on restaurant menus across the United States.

In 1903, a collection of recipes from Jewish women were published in a cookbook called “Settlement Cook Book,” and included a recipe for the style of chicken soup that most Americans are familiar with today. The chicken broth included onion, celery and celery root and even suggested being served with dumplings (aka matzah balls).

But these matzah balls didn’t come from a store-bought box of matzah meal but instead were made with crumbled matzah. Now, home chefs can make matzah balls easily with the help of a box mixed that some even feel are better than homemade.

No matter how you make it, or what you add to create your perfect recipe, chicken soup is universally comforting and enjoyed by many world-wide. We hope you enjoy this classic recipe from celebrity chef Jamie Geller and feel inspired to cook up your own pot of comfort!

Classic Chicken Soup

Recipe by Jamie Geller


  • 1 (3½-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 medium stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 (½-ounce) chicken consommé stock cube (optional)
  • 1 bouquet garni of 15 parsley sprigs, 15 dill sprigs, 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • Additional fresh parsley or dill, for garnish (optional)


  1. Rinse chicken and place in a 6-quart soup pot.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam, residue or fat that rises to the surface using a large spoon or skimmer and discard.
  3. Once boiling runs clear, reduce heat to a simmer and add carrot, parsnip, onion, turnip, celery and salt. Add stock cube, if desired.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of cooking add the bouquet garni and then remove before serving.
  5. Remove chicken meat from the bones and place a few pieces into each bowl. Ladle soup and vegetables over chicken.
  6. Mince dill or parsley and sprinkle on immediately before serving, if desired. Or cool the soup and refrigerate overnight.



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