Jewsian Chicken Soup

A Jew turns to a Chinaman and says “my chicken soup is better than yours!”

“Really…” he replies. “My people have been cooking chicken soup for thousands of years.”

“So has mine,” answers the Jew.

So to determine whose soup is tastier and more effacacious (for everyone knows that chicken soup has healing properties), they wait for a friend to get sick and hurry round with a bowl each of their age-old recipe, handed down from generation to generation.

“Well?” they ask the sick friend, who is suddenly feeling much better.

“To be honest, I like them both equally,” he answers. “But here’s the thing. I like the simple, minmalist quality and clearness of the Chinese soup, but I love the chicken pieces and the vegetables of the Jewish soup. Hey, why not mix the two together?”

“Not a bad idea” says the Jew. “Let’s call it Jewsian Chicken Soup.”


  • 1 organic chicken, intact (with or without skin)
  • 1 large onion (skin removed)
  • 3 stalks of celery (topped, tailed and cut in half)
  • 3 large organic carrots (they taste much better) peeled and cut in half
  • Salt and white pepper (if possible, black otherwise)
  • Controversial optional extra: lump of Chinese ham


  • Large soup pot


  1. Cover the chicken in cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. After about 5 minutes of boiling, remove the chicken and rinse under cold water. Discard the boiled, scummy water.
  3. Clean the pot.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot and cover with cold water.
  5. Disperse the remaining ingredients in the pot and bring the soup to boiling point.
  6. As soon as the soup starts to boil, turn the heat down to a low simmer. You want to see an occasional bubble coming up from the deep and popping on the surface. Nothing more.
  7. Season.
  8. Cover, and simmer for at least one hour after which you must taste the soup. You may want to add more seasoning and you almost certainly will want to continue cooking the soup for another hour or more, very, very gently.
  9. Once you are satisfied the soup tastes right, carefully remove the chicken and take the meat from the bone and reserve. Discard the ham (if you have used it). Keep the carrots and celery for anyone who wants some in their soup, the onion too, if anyone is interested.
  10. To serve, lay some chicken pieces in a large bowl, pour the soup over the chicken. Make sure the broth is piping hot.

What you should know

I suggest organic chicken because I make this soup for my children and I insist they only eat organic. I am certain it tastes better too. You decide, though.

Of course, you can add noodles, matzah balls, a slice of buttered challah on the side to dip, whatever you like.

Me, I like it almost Asian with just a hint of Jewish.

If you make this soup slowly and with a lot of love, it increases its healing properties. The Chinese call this wok chi, the Jews call it a bobbe myse.

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