Great Aunt Sophie’s Chicken Soup

Six to Eight Servings

My Great Aunt Sophie was the matriarch of  my mother’s family. She and my grandmother promoted the health-giving properties of foods as early as the 1930’s when my mother was growing up. Here is one of her delicious, tried- and- tested panaceas. I’ve increased the garlic to suit my tastes.

1 whole chicken, preferably organic or free-range, weighing about 3 ½  to 4 pounds

1 ½ heads garlic, (about 21 cloves), smashed and peeled**

6 medium onions, peeled, halved, and each half cut into thirds

12 carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half, and cut into 1 ½- inch sections

6 parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half and cut into 1 ½ -inch sections

1 bunch celery, weighing about 1 pound, rinsed, drained, ends trimmed, and stalks cut into 1 ½-inch lengths

14 cups water

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

1.Remove any fat from around the cavity opening and neck of the chicken. Rinse the chicken lightly and drain; then, using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut it through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces.

2.Put the chicken pieces and remaining ingredients except for the salt in a large, heavy stock or soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so that the liquid is still at a simmer and cook about 1 ¾ hours uncovered, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Skim off any fat. (you may chill overnight and remove the fat which has solidified.). Add the salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle chunks of chicken, vegetables, and soup into serving bowls and serve immediately.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2009


  1. Erhan Kuran says:

    Thank you , I will try it tonight .

  2. Surely every culture offers us a wonderful chicken soup. Great-aunt Sophie’s recipe sounds delicious!

    You might like to try this one from Mexico:

    Provecho! (Bon appetit!)

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For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.