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Israeli Chicken Soup

November 03, 2021
Photography: Dan Lev, From Sheseh, the Kitchen Helper Series, published by Al HashulchanPhotography: Dan Lev, From Sheseh, the Kitchen Helper Series, published by Al Hashulchan


  • 2lbs (1 kg) chicken parts (especially wings) or 1 whole chicken
  • 1turkey neck cut into a few chunks
  • 1large bunch dill
  • 1large bunch parsley
  • 5-6stalks celery with leaves
  • 1large onion
  • 3carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 1leek cut into large chunks
  • 1celery root, peeled and quartered
  • 1parsley root (or parsnip) peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2zucchini or summer squash cut into large chunks
  • 1fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered
  • 1lb (450 g) pumpkin or butternut squash cut into large chunks
  • 1whole tomato
  • 1teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 3-4berries allspice
  • 2-3bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
Yield: serves 10-12


  • Step 1

    Line the bottom of a large soup pot with half the herbs. Arrange chicken and turkey as well as the vegetables over the herbs and pour in about 4 quarts/liters of cold water. Add whole peppercorns, bay leaves and allspice berries.

  • Step 2

    Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, and patiently skim any foam that floats up to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you plan to use the chicken for other recipes (salads, sandwiches), remove it from the soup after an hour and half, so it retains its texture and succulence.

  • Step 3

    After the soup has simmered for about an hour, taste and add salt to your liking.

  • Step 4

    Tie the rest of the herbs in a bundle and add to the pot for the last 5 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Cool the soup to room temperature, discard the herbs and strain. Keep the meat and any vegetables you might want to serve with the soup (especially carrots, zucchinis and pumpkin) in separate containers.

  • Serving suggestions: Add one or more of the following:

    • Cooked chicken meat (from the soup) removed from the bones and shredded with hands into little pieces

    • Freshly chopped dill

    • Chunks of cooked vegetables (from the soup)

    • Vermicelli or other small noodles (boiled separately according to instructions on the package and added to the piping hot soup at the last moment)