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Vava Jean's Kitchen
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Mama Vava's Miracle Chicken Soup

I once fed my soup to a French friend who was suffering from a nasty cold, and he claimed that he felt better immediately.  So this has become my "Jewish Penicillin"...with a French twist.  Of course you don't have to be sick to enjoy it!

1 whole chicken, about 4 lb, quartered
1 bunch celery
1 large brown onion, peeled and quartered
12 small boiling onions, peeled but left whole
1-2 lb carrots, peeled and tops trimmed off, 2 cut in halves and the rest sliced
12 baby red potatoes, unpeeled, cut in half if desired
3/4 lb. brown mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves (2 cut in half & 4 chopped fine)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
Fresh Basil, chopped fine to make 1 cup
Sea salt
White pepper
2 cups dry red wine (chianti, shiraz, cabernet, burgundy)

You will need a very large stewing/soup pot for this.
Place the quartered chicken in the pot and cover with water, along with the giblets and neck pieces.
You can go ahead and turn on the flame while you prepare the other ingredients.
Add the quartered onion
Cut about 4" off the top of the whole celery bunch & add to the pot.
Add the 2 halved garlic cloves
Cut 2 of the carrots in half and add these to the pot as well
Season to taste with sea salt and pepper

When water comes to a boil, reduce to a low heat, covering pot loosely
When chicken is tender, turn off heat and allow to cool slightly for handling.  
Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a platter
Drain the broth, through a sieve, from the pot into a large bowl or other pot.
Remove any debris from the soup pot.
Remove the chicken from the bones (you can wear rubber gloves)
Cut the chicken into pieces no smaller than 2"
Return the broth to the soup pot.
Then add the potatoes & carrots
Turn flame back on and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat.
After about 20 minutes, add the boiling onions, shallots and garlic.
Return the chicken pieces to the pot.
Crush the bouillon cubes and add to the soup.
Slice enough celery to make about 2 cups & add to soup
You can add more water if all the ingredients are not covered, but only to barely cover.
Add the basil, and salt and pepper to taste (please taste since the bouillon has salt)
Add one cup of the wine.
Allow to simmer until the carrots and potatoes are tender crisp.
Now it's time to add more wine, so I hope you've saved some for the soup! ;-) Throw in the other cup!
Simmer for about another 20-30 minutes and it's SOUP!

Serve with crusty French bread and a Caesar salad.

Optional condiment:  Lemon wedges

Posted: March 10, 2011 ,   Modified: March 10, 2011

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