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Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul

Ah, Chicken Soup. The Jewish version of Soul Food. There is something so basic yet delightful about chicken soup, something reminiscent of sick days as a child, weekend trips to grandma’s house, cozy winter nights spent in pajamas in front … Read More

By / February 3, 2009

Ah, Chicken Soup. The Jewish version of Soul Food. There is something so basic yet delightful about chicken soup, something reminiscent of sick days as a child, weekend trips to grandma’s house, cozy winter nights spent in pajamas in front of the television, and diner excursions in Brooklyn.

Chicken soup has maintained a longstanding reputation in the American lexicon as being the hearty, home-cooked soup that serves a various array of purposes. The combination of the chicken stock with various other ingredients such as noodles,carrots, celery, or any and every other garden vegetable that suits your fancy makes this not only healthy but is thought to restore one to tip-top health on a cold winter day when you are feeling sick.

Well, at least for me. However, I am fairly certain that the mere mention of chicken soup will rouse memories in a fair percentage of Jewish minds. My love affair with chicken soup (and soup in general) began with my grandma. She made the best chicken vegetable soup the South has ever tasted. And by South, I mean South Brooklyn.

As a child my mouth would begin to water as soon as we got off the Belt Parkway onto Pennsylvania Avenue, anticipating the chicken vegetable soup that awaited my taste buds. My grandmother has since passed, and I am very angry that in the chaos and grief of having to sort through her apartment, I forgot to save her recipes, particularly her chicken soup recipe. But, even if I had, I know it wouldn’t be the same as when I was a kid and she made it for me.

Chicken soup is comfort food. When there is nothing to eat and I cant seem to make a decision on what my tummy is desiring, I know I can always turn to my good, old-fashioned,trusty chicken noodle soup. But, in those instances it comes out of a can. There is the chicken soup that comes from a diner or a Kosher deli, often mixed with Matzah balls which give it that extra Jewish soul food treat which is my personal favorite variety. When searching "kosher chicken soup recipes" on Google, 624,000 hits come up. That is a lot of Jewish mothers and bubbys! Either way you cook it, boil it, or buy it, there is something undeniably comforting about chicken soup.

Which brings me to this nifty little contest: "The Better Than Your Bubby’s Chicken Soup Challenge," which is a search for the best chicken soup recipe in America! It is in affiliation with the National Jewish Outreach Program. If you have a delicious or new and exciting recipe for this Jewish comfort food, I totally encourage you to send it in. And besides, this blog has the cutest name and banner logo.

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