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Mollie Pier’s Chicken Soup

March 18, 2021
Mollie Pier's Chicken Soup

Pier has a long history in Los Angeles. After growing up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, she married and then relocated with her husband in the early 1950s to California, where she worked as an administrator in L.A. public elementary schools and raised three sons. When one of them, Nathaniel—a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine who treated patients suffering from AIDS when doing so was still rare among his peers—himself succumbed to the disease in 1989, Pier was inspired to action as a way to channel her grief.

Pier regularly pitched in at potluck luncheons held in the AIDS ward of a San Fernando Valley hospital. At some point, her friend Rabbi Janet Marder of congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, who organized those events, told Pier about Nechama, her synagogue’s grassroots HIV/AIDS support network. Food hadn’t been on Nechama’s agenda, so in 1989, Pier joined with others in this circle of Jewish activists to add what they thought was an essential component of caring for the sick: bringing kosher meals to people who really needed them.

Featured in: Chicken Soup With Stars

Recipe by: Mollie Pier


  • 4pieces chicken parts
  • 1whole bulb garlic. chopped very fine, preferably in a food processor
  • 1whole onion, chopped very fine, preferably in a food processor
  • 1Tbsp salt (more or less, to taste)
  • ½tsp pepper (more or less, to taste)
  • 3-4carrots, sliced thinly or shredded, if preferred
  • 2stalks celery, sliced
  • 2-3parsnips, sliced
  • 1bunch fresh dill (chopped) or 2 tsp. dill powder
  • 2-3bay leaves


  • Step 1

    Fill large soup pot with cold water. Bring to a boil. Add chicken parts and all other ingredients. Allow to come to a boil again. Lower heat to simmer. Taste for flavor. Add more seasoning if wanted, but leave as is if satisfactory. When ready, remove chicken and set aside, then take out bay leaves and serve soup with cooked noodles, rice, or kasha.