Holiday Recipe: Lillian Bart's Chicken Soup
Share with others:
LILLIAN BART'S CHICKEN SOUP
Lillian Bart is Judy Bart Kancigor's mother. At age 90 she still makes this soup, even though it takes her four days. "The first day we shop, and then we rest," said Ms. Kancigor. "She has to clean the kosher chickens; that's a whole day, and clean the vegetables, and put them away. And then she cooks it; it's a whole process for her." The soup then needs a day to rest in the refrigerator so the fat rises to the top.
"There are three rules for this soup," said Ms. Kancigor. "Use kosher chickens. Use as much produce and as little water as possible; the chicken might be sticking up -- don't worry; as the vegetables cook down you push them under. And use a lot of dill; even when we reheat it, we add more dill."
She explained that the vegetables in this soup are a suggestion that "vary as the mood hits her [mother]" although the carrots are a must. The recipe called for a sweet potato and a rutabaga, which I didn't use. I wanted to add the celery root, but I couldn't find one. They are available in Pittsburgh at Whole Foods.
-- Miriam Rubin
- 2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) with giblets but no liver, quartered
- 2 pounds carrots (yes, 2 pounds, not 2 carrots), peeled
- 2 large onions, cut in half
- 5 large ribs celery with leaves, cut in half
- 2 large parsnips
- 1 turnip (6 ounces), cut in half
- 1 small celery root, cut in half (optional)
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 large yellow or red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 2 large bunches dill, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 bunch curly-leaf parsley (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic
- Chopped dill for serving (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put chicken in 16-quart stockpot. Add water to barely cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off foam.
Add all remaining ingredients except chopped dill for serving, salt and pepper. Add additional water to come to about two-thirds of the height of the vegetables. "Do not add water to cover. As the soup cooks, the vegetables will shrink and be covered soon enough. Eight to 10 cups of water is plenty for this highly flavorful brew," writes Ms. Kancigor.
Return to a boil. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and about half the carrots from pot; set aside. When chicken has cooled, separate into serving pieces or remove from bones and cut in 1-inch pieces. Cover and refrigerate.
Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer into another pot or container, pressing on vegetables to extract flavor. Scrape underside of strainer with rubber spatula; add pulp to soup. Discard vegetables in strainer. Cover soup and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, scoop congealed fat off surface and discard. Reheat, adding more dill, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved chicken, if desired. Slice reserved carrots and add them too.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
-- Adapted from "Cooking Jewish" by Judy Bart Kancigor
First Published November 29, 2007 12:00 am