This Holiday Chicken Soup is a very special soup! It has an intense, rich flavor thanks to a chicken and beef (or veal) stock that simmers for eight (yes eight!) hours on the stove – resulting in one of the best soups you’ll ever eat!
I’m going to ask this of you right upfront here: Please don’t be scared away by the time commitment required to make this Holiday Chicken Soup!
The stock for this soup is actually quite easy to make – just add the stock ingredients to a pot and let it simmer away on the stove all day. (It will be a good excuse to stay home and wrap gifts or finish decorating for the holidays!)
Once the stock is done cooking, chill it overnight and skim off any fat from the top. Then, the next day, add julienned carrots, scallions and parsnips, bouillon, plus fresh chopped parsley and dill, and simmer until the vegetables are tender. (This takes only about ten minutes or so.)
My husband Jack (aka “Soup Guy”) has been talking non-stop about this Holiday Chicken Soup ever since we made it!
Today’s recipe is adapted from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook written by Marjorie Druker and Clara Silverstein. Ms. Druker runs the very popular New England Soup Factory restaurant here in the Boston area, and this Holiday Chicken Soup is her family recipe that she makes for special holiday gatherings.
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This soup is really special and using canned or boxed stock or broth would just not do it justice. Also, take the time to hand julienne the vegetables instead of trying to rush through this with a mandolin. The care that you put into this will yield a fantastic end result.
- 5 to 6 pounds chicken parts, preferably thighs ( I had some frozen necks, backs and wing tips and added thighs and legs pieces to equal 5 ½ pounds)
- 2 large veal bones (veal bones are not readily available to most so I used some beef bones and a cheap cut of beef with a bone in it) (about 1 ½ pounds total)
- 2 large onions, peeled and halved
- 6 large ribs celery including leaves, cut into thirds
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thirds
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley with stems
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 16 cups water (1 gallon)
- Stock from above (do not use pre-packaged stock)
- 6 medium carrots (1 pound) peeled and cut julienned small enough to fit on a soup spoon
- 2 large scallions cut julienned small enough to fit on a soup spoon
- 6 parsnips (1 pound) peeled and cut julienned small enough to fit on a soup spoon
- ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh dill fronds, chopped
- 2–3 high quality chicken bouillon cubes, such as Better Than Bouillon brand. (We could only find this brand in jar form so I put in about two or so teaspoons.)
- The day before serving this soup, prepare the stock by placing all ingredients into a large stock pot and bringing up to heat gradually. Boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 8 hours. If the mixture gets too thick and it looks like it might stick, add more water. I added one more quart of water at about 6 hours. After 8 hours, strain out the stock and cool and discard all solids. Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day skim off and discard the fat that floats to the top.
- Place the stock in the pot along with all of the soup ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer on a low boil for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Season if needed and serve.
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