Chicken Soup

Total Time:
4 hr 30 min
30 min
4 hr

10 servings

  • 3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
  • 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half (optional)
  • 20 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • To serve:
  • 4 cups 1/4-inch-diced carrots
  • 4 cups 1/4-inch-diced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Matzo Balls, (see recipe)
  • Matzo Balls:
  • 4 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup good chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup rendered chicken fat, melted
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for egg whites
  • 1 cup matzo meal
To serve:

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove 2 of the chickens and allow to cool slightly. Remove the breast meat from both chickens and set aside. Return the remaining chicken and carcasses to the pot and continue simmering, uncovered, for 3 more hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and chill. Remove the surface fat, then reheat the stock as follows, or pack in containers and freeze.

To serve the soup, return the stock to the pot and reheat, adding the diced carrots, celery, dill, and parsley. Shred the reserved chicken breast meat into large pieces and add to the stock. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes to cook the vegetables and reheat the chicken. Season, to taste, and serve as is, or ladle each serving over 2 warm Matzo Balls.

Matzo Balls:

Whisk together the egg yolks, chicken stock, chicken fat, parsley, and salt. Stir in the matzo meal. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff. Whisk them into the matzo mixture until it is smooth. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick.

Form balls the size of golf balls by shaping them with 2 spoons, rolling them with your hands, or scooping them with a small ice cream scoop. Drop them into simmering chicken stock and cook for 30 minutes, or until fully cooked and puffed, turning once. Remove and serve hot in chicken soup.

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4.5 46
Excellent and tasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've spent years searching for the perfect chicken soup recipe and this is it! I had my doubts about the dill, but I used small sprigs of dill and it added a nice flavor and aroma to the broth. The finished broth itself is a wonder -- intensely rich and flavorful -- and far superior to any other chicken broth I've ever had. It's no wonder Ina always recommends homemade chicken broth when it tastes this good! It's a wonderful base for any homemade chicken soup. I've made this soup using both raw chickens and store-bought roasted chicken and it's delicious either way. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellant item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina knows the secret to good chicken soup. Hint: parsnips and the eggs in the matzo batter. Love her and this soup.♥ item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW! This was the best chicken soup I have ever made! It was very easy, and smelled wonderful as it cooked on a cold wintery afternoon. This will be my go to recipe for chicken stock and soup! Thanks Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, it was my first time making chicken stalk, soup or matzoh balls from scratch…so it did take me pretty much all day. But, it was worth it!! And next time, it won't take as long because I'll have a better idea of timing and what I need to do. And everything tastes wonderful!! Can never go wrong with Ina's recipes!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made lots of chicken soup in my life and, I confess, I have often added some chicken bouillon to intensify the chicken flavor. This recipe achieves wonderful, intense, flavorful, taste without any "outside" help. It is well worth the time and effort - I loved it!! Re: the dill issue - if you read the entire recipe you will note that the dill is used at two different times in the soup and in the matzo balls. Therefore, it is not intended for the entire amount of dill to go in the soup. Best to use your judgement re: how much to add. Always can add more later. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh, the expectation was so great. It had way too much dill; I Googled what a "sprig of dill" should look like - the recipe said 20 sprigs, and my package only contained 10 [.66 0z] It was all I could smell while it was cooking, and the taste was mainly dill, although the broth was rich and dark. I will try again with a more modest amount of dill! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Rich, delicious, and without a doubt, the best tasting chicken stock I have ever cooked with. Thank you for the recipe!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I spent an entire afternoon preparing and cooking and a good dollar portion of my grocery list making this soup for a few friends who were under the weather. I followed the directions to a "T" but my husband and I had it for dinner and both decided it was a bust. We threw it out and are scrambling to make another soup for our friends. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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