Jewish Penicillin


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    Hungry Sailors

Appears in

Around the World in 80 Dishes: Classic Recipes from the World's Favourite Chefs

Around the World in 80 Dishes

By David Loftus

Published 2012

  • About

Fogg and his party have nine days in which to cross the 3,000 miles of ocean that lie between New York’s harbour and Liverpool’s docks, and then make their way to London. Heading north in December, with ‘frequent fogs and heavy gales’, these sharp conditions call for legendary Jewish mother’s chicken soup. This is soup for the long haul.


  • 1 × 2.5kg/lb free-range or organic chicken
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls of Jewish fine egg, noodles or spaghetti, broken into short bits
  • A Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • A Small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped


Rinse your chicken in cold water, pat it dry with kitchen paper and place in a large cooking pot. Cover with cold water to reach about 8—10cm/3—4 inches above the chicken. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Using a spoon, skim off and discard the residue that will have gathered in a foamy layer on the top.

Add the chopped vegetables, cloves of garlic, bay leaves and thyme and season with a good pinch of salt. Bring everything back to the boil, then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 1 hour more. Keep on skimming the scummy froth with a spoon.

When your soup is ready transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. Leave to cool, uncovered, for a few minutes. Remove the soup pot from the stove and, very carefully, strain everything through a large sieve, collecting the clear broth in a vessel large enough to contain its volume. When you’ve strained the vegetables from the liquid, pour the broth back into the pan and salvage all the nicest-looking vegetable chunks and drop them back into the soup.

Bring the soup back to the boil. When it’s reached a steady roll, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat underneath and simmer gently. After 10 minutes, add your noodles or spaghetti to the pan. Replace the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the noodles are cooked.

Shred the meat, removing any trace of skin and bone, and add it to the soup along with the chopped herbs. Warm through for a few minutes, then season with salt and pepper and serve.