The enduring Jewish gift gets rewrapped and fully loaded. The title of “best” is awarded to this recipe that has been years in the making. Here’s how: For the past decade, I have gathered ingredients from various chicken soups that I have enjoyed. I “borrowed” the idea of a fresh tomato from my mother, a green bell pepper from my mother-in-law, and fresh corn on the cob (yes! corn on the cob) and jalapeno peppers from my grandmothers. My sister-in-law, Michelle, suggested that I replace chicken quarters with chicken bones, and the amount of fresh garlic cloves has been gradually increased to reach a final culmination of at least a dozen cloves. And then...I let it gently simmer for a minimum of eight hours or longer. The longer chicken soup simmers, the better. I also wait for the soup to cool before it goes into the refrigerator. Soups that contain animal proteins will turn sour if refrigerated when hot.
This recipe has a long list of ingredients, but the results are truly worth it! As with most chicken soups, there is a slight difference every time you prepare this soup, but it’s always sublime. You can easily freeze the leftover stock or use it for the other soups featured in this column. Alternatively, you can use leftover chicken soup instead of water to prepare your side dishes for the week (such as rice, couscous, quinoa etc.) to add depth of flavor. You will find this soup lives up to its healing reputation on many levels: this rich, full bodied broth will surpass your expectations.