L’Dor V’Dor – Miriam’s Chicken Soup
People talk about “chicken soup for the soul” or “Jewish Penicillin.” In our family this is not just an expression, it is a foundation. This recipe has been passed down for generations and has been a part of healing ailments and bringing tremendous comfort in hard times and in foreign lands. Growing up, my mom made this for me any time I was sick, and I immediately felt the presence and love of the generations before me.
My grandmother, Miriam Feuerstein, grew up in a small town called Svalyava in Czechoslovakia. She was born in the early 1900’s and lived there until 1944 when the Germans took over and she and her family were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. She was there until she was finally liberated in April 1945. She was 75 pounds upon liberation and was taken to a hospital to get stronger. She and two of her brothers were the only ones who survived from her family. Her parents were killed in Auschwitz and another brother was shot and thrown into a ditch to die. She eventually found her younger brother after the war and they came to America.
Her older brother was in Vienna studying to become a Chazzan. He eventually went to Canada. My grandmother got married and had two children, my mother and my uncle. Unfortunately, she died before I was born. She was an amazing
woman who never lost faith in God and would tell herself while in the camp that if she survived she would tell the world what happened. She did keep her promise that she made in Auschwitz and told her story to anyone and everyone who would listen.
yields 8-10 servings
- Approximately 3 ½ pounds of chicken. I use chicken bottoms (the leg and thigh)
- 2 to 3 carrots
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- Pepper – to taste
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Sprig of fresh parsley and dill (more if you want)
- 2 parsnips
- 1 onion – cut up if large
Put all ingredients in a 6 or 8 quart pot except parsley and dill.
Add water to cover chicken.
Let water come to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for approximately two hours until chicken is fork tender.
Add parsley and dill about a half hour before soup is cooked.
Chill soup in refrigerator and skim a fat layer on top one ready to re-warm and serve.