Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homemade Chicken Soup and Potato Dumplings

I don't know if chicken soup has any healing powers but it sure has comforting powers. Whenever I show the first signs of getting a cold, I make a big pot of this warm-the-soul soup.

My mother made this soup for as long as I can remember but she always made it with beef for my dad. 

If your body decides to accept some unwanted cold germs this season, try my favorite chicken soup and dumplings.

Chicken Soup
Printable Recipe

4 quarts water
1 large cut-up chicken or 3 lbs thighs, skin removed, some pieces cut through to expose the marrow
1 large boneless chicken breast, poached separately (because I hate overcooked white meat)
4 large onions – 2 chopped and 1 whole onion left unpeeled
4 stalks celery chopped and 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
4 large carrots, peeled & diced
1/4 cup chopped dried or fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried or fresh dill
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 small bay leaf

Optional additions are parsnips, turnips or rutabagas.

1. Put the water and the chicken in a large pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim off the froth.

2. Add 2 chopped onions, the whole unpeeled onion, 2 stalks chopped celery, celery leaves, 2 of the chopped carrots, the parsley, dill, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, adjusting the seasonings to taste.

3. Remove the chicken and vegetables and strain the broth several times, discarding vegetables. (If possible, chill the stock overnight, so the hardened fat can be removed). Reheat the broth and add additional reserved vegetables (diced onion, carrot, celery, etc) and simmer until just fork tender – about 30 minutes. Shred the breast and any of the thigh meat you wish to use and add to the stock. 

4. Cook potato dumplings separately and add to finished soup or you can use egg noodles or rice.

Potato Dumplings

2 cups potatoes, preferably Russets, cooked and passed through a ricer or mashed.  Note: After draining water from potatoes, put them back on the hot stove and shake the potatoes in the pan over the heat until all of the excess water is removed.
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup whole milk
3 cups flour

Blend ingredients one-at-a-time in the order given and drop by tablespoon-fulls into simmering water and cook for 30 minutes. Add to soup.

These dumplings would also taste wonderful with beef or other meat stews.


  1. The soup looks good. I know what you mean about those sharing their germs. :) Hope you and husband get to feeling better soon.

  2. I think I'd love the soup with to without a cold!

    Feel better, Susan!

  3. Take care NanaS!!The soup looks great..we just came home.. it's 8 F w/out the windchill! Bitter cold..I am staying in too tonight and watching Revolutionary Road~

    Sorry about the not going out for dinner for you:( Stay warm..get better quick.

  4. Oh no, I'm sorry you are feeling under the weather Susan.

    I must say, just looking at your delicious soup makes me feel cheery... I hope it works its magic and that you will be feeling 100% in no time.

    Sending you gentle, healing hugs and all the best to you and your family in the New Year. xo~m

  5. The soup looks wonderful!
    It is very cold and extremely windy here today. It has been howling since last night and it is getting on my nerves!!
    Feel better soon!
    Just finished doing my table..lots of red, thought of you, Ruby!

  6. Nasty colds are no fun at all, wishing you a speedy recovery, your chicken soup looks delicious and you have the Italian meal to look forward to when you are feeling better :-). Happy New Year, Kathy.

  7. Chicken soup is the best cure for a cold! Sorry you're not feeling well. Take care!

  8. I hope the soup is doing it's thing and making you feel better asap! I love seeing whatever you put in those beautiful red dishes :)

  9. Your soup looks so beautiful and just what the doctor ordered. Hope you and your husband will be on the mend soon.

  10. Ciao Susan!

    Grazie della tua visita!

    ottima questa zuppa con questo freddo ci vuole proprio!!

    Un abbraccio e Buone Feste!


  11. The weather is snowy and freezing cold on this side of the country too. Chicken soup is the perfect remedy for a cold, and I hope you are feeling better soon.

    Happy New Year,Susan.

  12. I'm SO sorry you're under the weather! I hope you feel better soon. But then again, how couldn't you with a soup as delicious as this to warm your bones.

  13. Perfect soup anytime! Hope you start feeling better..I'm sure Mack will help you perk up!

  14. Chicken soup is the best when you have a cold. As I recall there was a study done that showed that it does help...both mentally and physically! Get better soon.

  15. Susan, I hope the soup did the trick ... Definitely not fun to have a cold hang on. I'm sure your soup is infinitely better than the Progresso chicken soup I have when I'm sick. :)

  16. When I"m getting a cold or a bug, the first sign for me is that I start craving sour and spicy things. Then I start making some ginger tea with cayenne and lemon and honey. Weird, but it seems to help. Maybe this soup is what I need! Thanks.

    Happy New Year, Susan! I hope you're feeling better.

  17. Thank you all for all of your well-wishes! Still feeling under-the-weather today so no ringing in the New Year partying for me tonight :(

  18. Chicken Soup is the best for any kind of cold! We have a friend with a Chinese Restaurant and her Egg Drop Soup is delicious and perfect for when we're not feeling well!

  19. Perfect food for a cold and oh so pretty!


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