The secret to Jewish chicken soup is to use an old boiling hen and to skim a lot. And, probably, to be Jewish. Serve with lokshen (noodles) on the Sabbath if you are orthodox, and any time if you are not. The very best secret, of course, is to have your own chicken in the backyard.
Place chicken in a large pot. Add cold water until the chicken is just covered, and bring to the boil. Skim well to remove any froth that rises to the surface. Chop carrots, parsnip, leeks and celery. Wash leeks well in a bowl of cold water and drain. Add vegetables to pot with parsley stalks. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, then remove chicken. Remove breasts from chicken and set aside, moistened with a little broth.
Return carcass to broth and simmer for 2 hours.
Strain soup and simmer until volume is reduced to around 8 cups. At this point, you can slice the chicken breast, use the meat in the soup, or serve the meat as a second course. Add noodles and cook for a few minutes until tender.
Divide soup between 4 warmed soup bowls, and scatter parsley on top.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.