Recipes from Home: Jewish Penicillin (Chicken Noodle Soup)

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
15 to 20 servings

Brad Lange, director of dining services, Park Regency, Chandler, Ariz., says: One of my Jewish grandmothers always made chicken noodle soup whenever someone was sick. I did not know it was chicken noodle soup then; Grandma always called it Jewish penicillin. A lot of people in New York call chicken noodle soup Jewish penicillin with no harm or disrespect intended toward anyone. When I go back home to New York my family insists I make Jewish penicillin and also Long Island baked clams. The Jewish penicillin really works. 


1 whole chicken, cut up, discarding innards
1 gallon chicken stock
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
3 to 4 carrots, cut into large chunks
6 celery stalks, try to use center with leaves
2 parsnips, cut into large chunks
Handful of fresh dill
1 large turnip, cut into large chunks
4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
1⁄2 to 3⁄4 lb. spaghetti
Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Add all ingredients, except spaghetti, to large pot and cook over medium-high heat for about 1 hour, until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. Remove all chicken and set aside to cool.

2. Purée vegetables and put back into stock. You might need to add a little more stock.

3. Break spaghetti into 1-in. to 1½-in. pieces and add to stock.

4. Debone chicken with hands, making sure all bones are removed. Cut chicken into medium-dice pieces and add to soup. Soup is ready once spaghetti is tender.

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