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Her Chicken Soup

Your Jewish Fairy Godmother’s (Moroccan) Chicken Soup

This is the most incredible pot of (non-traditional) chicken soup you’ll ever eat: an amazing blend of flavors in a base of liquid velvet. You’ll reach for when you want comfort food or eat to celebrate. It takes about 45 minutes to make, but nets you about 5 quarts, enough to freeze some and pull out for a quickie dinner.

Note: (Chicken) is in parentheses because this soup is almost as good made for vegetarians. Simply leave out the chicken and use an herb stock. It may not cure your cold as quickly, but it still tastes great.

Print this page and give yourself and your loved ones a treat.

What You Need

Preparations

2 medium-large onions chop them, not too small
garlic (2t to 2T depending on your taste buds) from the jar or by hand as you prefer
1 good-sized butternut squash the hard way: peel and chop squash into 1/2″ pieces or the easy way (though not as good, sigh):
bake until 3/4 cooked, then peel and chop into 1/2″ pieces
3 carrots sliced
2 zucchini cut lengthwise, then into nice little wedges, 1/2″ thick
1 yellow pepper sliced and diced (not too small)
1 red pepper sliced and diced (not too small)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts slice into strips, then into bite-sized pieces
1+ T olive oil
10 cups chicken broth (low salt) or 10 cups water with bullion or chicken flavoring
1 T lemon juice

Spices: The amounts below are for a richly seasoned soup. Use less or add more as your taste buds prefer.

  • 1 heaping T sweet paprika
  • 2 large t ground cumin
  • 1 large t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t cayenne (or more if you like a little punch, or some Ethiopian paprika if you can find it)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick (hold this aside)
  • 1/2 t crushed saffron (hold this aside)
  • a handful of parsley (dried or fresh) (hold this aside till the end)
  • some fresh mint leaves (optional to garnish before serving)

What to Do When

  1. Mix all the spices except the cinnamon stick and saffron. Use half the spices for the chicken and hold the rest aside to add later as you taste the soup while cooking. Take the chicken and toss it in a bowl with half the spices. Coat the chicken well.
  2. Take a good large soup pot and heat up the olive oil. Brown the chicken quickly stirring while you do so. Take it out of the pot and hold it aside.
  3. Add the garlic and carrots and let them cook for a few minutes. Ditto the squash if it is uncooked (if you took the easy route on the squash, wait 15 minutes and then add it). Then add the chicken and the broth. Put in some more spices, including the cinnamon stick. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Put in the peppers.
  4. Inhale. Sneak a taste. Keep it at a nice simmer with the lid ajar.
  5. When it feels almost done (a half hour or so), add in the zucchini. Don’t rush as you will want the green color and dead zucchini is not nearly so nice to eat. Last, put in the parsley, and the lemon juice.
  6. When it feels done, turn off the heat, put on the lid, and let it sit in the pot till it cools. It is wise to taste it several times and compliment yourself on what a brilliant cook you are. You may give small spoonfuls to your loved ones, who will make various appreciative and endearing sounds.
  7. This makes a great dinner with a roll and a nice green salad. It is especially good on nights when you think you have no time to cook. Just take soup out of the freezer, defrost, and heat. Within a half hour you can be sitting down to candlelight, a glass of wine, a bowl of Your Jewish Fairy Godmother’s Moroccan Chicken Soup. You will feel like the queen, or king, of the universe.

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