Mom’s Best Comforting Chicken Soup

chicken soup served in a bowl bringing comfort and health.

There’s nothing quite like mom’s chicken soup especially when you’re feeling under the weather or have a health emergency. It’s loaded with nutrients that’ll get you feeling good in no time! If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my health emergency that brought forth a stressful trip to the hospital followed by an emergency appendectomy. Comfort and familiarity was much needed and I’ve been living on this soup!

First, she simmers her vegetable peels in water, so she starts with a flavorful foundation. Later, she adds the chicken alone, and simmers it long enough for the fatty bits to float to the surface for easy removal. Then the veggies go in for an hour-long simmer to transform the mixture into the most flavorful chicken soup you’ve ever tried. Throwing in a few turkey necks adds even more depth of flavor—and simmering it with love doesn’t hurt either.

If you’re nursing you or someone you know back to health, try another recipe to get them feeling cozy and comfortable in no time! My Middle Eastern Vegetable Soup should also do the trick! For full flexible tips get this recipe and more in my cookbook, Food You Want: for the Life You Crave!

Mom’s Best Comforting Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 small or 2 large zucchini (about 11 ounces)
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 medium celery stalks with lots of leaves
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed (about 1 pound)
  • 1 or 2 medium turnips
  • 1 large chicken, cut into eighths (4 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 or 4 turkey necks (optional)
  • 1 whole medium yellow onion, peeled
  • 1 head of garlic, rinsed and outler layers peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh dill

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over high heat, bring 1 1/4 gallons (20 cups) filtered water to a boil.

  2. While the water is reaching temperature, wash and peel the carrots, zucchini, and parsnip, reserving the peels.

  3. Add the vegetable peels, salt, and white pepper to the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the vegetable peels at least 10 to 15 minutes, then scoop them out with a fine-mesh strainer and discard.

  4. Meanwhile, continue to prep the veggies: Cut the carrots, zucchini, parsnip, and celery (reserve the leaves) into thick slices—using a serrated grater or mandolin to create a wave pattern, if desired. Cut the butternut squash and the turnip(s) into 1-inch cubes.

  5. Add the chicken pieces and turkey necks, if using, to the pot,and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes or until you can start skimming the scum that rises to the top

  6. Add all the sliced and cubed vegetables (including the celery leaves), the whole onion, and the whole garlic head to the pot, and simmer for 90 minutes, occasionally skimming any scum off the top.

  7. Stir in the dill, and remove the pot from the heat.

  8. Optional: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it, covered, for 24 to 48 hours. Remove the pot from the refrigerator, and skim off and discard any congealed fat from the top. Reheat.

  9. Discard the celery leaves, onion, garlic, and dill before serving, if desired. You can either serve the chicken pieces on the bone or remove the chicken skin and bones and add the chicken meat back to the pot. Leave the turkey necks in—someone inevitably devours them. If freezing, remove the herbs and bones first. When defrosting, skim off the fat layer that has risen to the top.