Send someone a delicious half-gallon of chicken soup. Above, Grandma’s Chicken Soup.




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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



March 2010

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Soups & Stocks

A Chicken Soup Gift

Send Homemade Chicken Soup & Fixings


CAPSULE REPORT:  We recently tried chicken soup sets from two different companies and found them to be a very welcome way to send a gift of comfort food. This is Page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.


Probably every society makes a chicken soup; chickens are ubiquitous worldwide. It’s easy to make chicken soup: just boil chicken parts (or in less wealthy economies, the bones) in water with various vegetables and seasoning.

In older times and in less prosperous societies, chicken soup was/is prepared using hens (“soup hens” or “stewing hens”) too old to be effective layers, and therefore to tough and stringy to be roasted. While we have found such hens at farmer’s markets, they’re rarely seen in modern supermarkets, which focus on selling “broilers,” younger chickens. While our grandmother had access to soup hens, our chicken soup, made with supermarket broilers, is just as delicious. As with all ingredients, the better (more flavorful) the chicken, the better the soup.

What Is Chicken Soup?

A classic chicken soup is a clear broth, strained of much or all of the fat and served with pieces of chicken and vegetables. To make a meal of it, noodles, dumplings (including matzoh balls), rice or barley can be added.

Is chicken soup, “Jewish penicillin,” a remedy for the common cold? No, but its key component, a hot liquid, is soothing to the malady, easy to eat and helps with re-hydration. Also, the protein and vegetables are excellent nourishment. Some studies have found that chicken soup can inhibit inflammation of the cells in the nasal passage, which reduces the symptoms of a cold. The soup contains an amino acid that is similar to a drug used to treat some respiratory infections. Research conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that some components of the chicken soup inhibit neutrophil migration, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could in theory lead to temporary ease of suffering. But the truth remains that no one has found a cure for the common cold.

Comparisons of the different types of soup—broth, bouillon, consommé, etc.—are on Page 3.


Continue To Page 2: Comparison Of Grandma’s Chicken Soup & Spoonful Of Comfort

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