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Release date: 12/28/2004.

You'll find this recipe in it, From AN EXALTATION OF SOUPS,
copyright © 2004
by Patricia Solley,
Published by Three Rivers Press.

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In her hilarious Love and Knishes, Sara Kasdan says, "So it shouldn't happen, but it does. Your friend is sick. What can you do? I'll tell you: A good plate chicken soup has cured more ills than penicillin. Chicken soup has a double-barreled action. The broth flows through the veins like plasma, bringing color to the cheeks; the lokchen (egg noodles) fill up the stomach so is no room left for viruses. And if you'll put in a carrot and a piece parsley, you got vitamin content, too."

Omi Rosi's Penicillin

"guaranteed to make you well"

Sent to me from California--an authentic "Belgian/Jewish grandmother's recipe for Chicken Soup. It's wonderful--and certainly delivers in the "make well" department

Garnish: matzo balls
1 cup matzo meal mixed with 1/3 cup shortening or "schmaltz" (or "mock schmaltz"), 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, a grind of white pepper, and 4 eggs--beat together, refrigerate for an hour, then form into balls and refrigerate til ready to cook.

[Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat. Mock Schmaltz can be made by simmering one diced onion in a cup of light olive oil until the onion browns--then removing the onion and stirring in 1 Tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules. Strain the oil into a jar and refrigerate. Use, when solidified, as needed.]

Put all ingredients in a big pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, lightly covered, for 2 hours--until everything is tender and soft. Skim off foam, from time to time, if needed.

Make matzo balls and refrigerate.

After 2 hours, remove the chicken and pick, discarding skin and bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Fish out half or so of the cooked vegetables and whirl into a blender, then returning to soup for thickening. Stir in the chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point, you can refrigerate overnight so flavors can blend--then skim fat before reheating.

Return to a low boil, add matzo balls, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls, help your sick ones to the table, and watch them come back to life.


"What I did differently though, was to brown the chicken -- I used legs and thighs -- in a little olive oil and with the skin on for several minutes per side in a 10 quart soup pot. Several batches were necessary. Then I sauteed the onion, celery and two minced garlic cloves (the garlic is not in the recipe) in the same pot for 10 to 15 minutes. I didn't need to add any more oil.

After that I didn't change much at all. What turned out was the most wonderfully complex chicken soup I've ever had. It didn't need any salt or pepper and, having actually been sick, made me feel better immediately. Tossing in slightly toasted crusty bread pieces made it into a solid meal as well."