Bubbie’s Chicken soup

Bubbie’s Chicken soup

This is a staple in my house anytime anyone is feeling sick, or it is cold outside, and a favorite when teeth are sore from an orthodontist visit.  The broth freezes well so you can have homemade chicken soup any time.  

Onion tip – when the onions are bothering your eyes, some swim goggles will make that a non issue. 

This is a great recipe for a cold rainy day. Matzo balls are a favorite in my house.  From a young age the kids would always want to help make the soup.

The house just smells amazing when you have a pot of soup going.  Want to make this in your instant pot?  Not a problem.  

Using a mesh basket like I have in the photo above with your instant pot makes straining the stock as simple as lifting out the basket. 

Bam, your soup is strained and all of the chicken and veggies are in the basket. Some of the cooked carrots and celery and a few matzo balls, egg noodles or gluten free noodles and you have delicious home made chicken soup just like Bubbie would make. 

Need some ideas for the cooked chicken that is left after making this soup?  The cooked chicken works well in chicken salad, enchiladas, or chicken stew and dumplings

Bubbie’s Chicken Soup

Nothing makes you feel better than Bubbie's chicken soup. Add some matzo balls, egg noodles, or even gluten-free noodles, and enjoy your bowl of goodness.
Course Soup/Stew



  • 1 3-4 lb. whole chicken – I recommend Kosher or organic Any chicken will work you can use half a chicken if you want a small batch, but you want something with the bones; so do not use boneless chicken breasts.
  • 2 medium yellow onions – depends on the size of the onion and the size of the pot. I usually use 3 large.
  • 6 medium whole carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4-6 stalks of celery cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1-2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces optional
  • 2 medium turnips, cut into chunks optional
  • salt to taste
  • 12 ish cups water enough to just completely cover the chicken and veggies. you don't want to add too much water or the broth will be too watered down.


Stovetop instructions:

  • Remove gizzards from inside of the chicken. Place the whole chicken into the stockpot.
  • Cover the chicken with water, bring to a low simmer.
  • Skim off the foam that will form. When it stops producing foam, add veggies and salt.
  • Simmer for 1½-2 hours covered.
  • Salvage any veggies and chicken you want for soup or other purposes. You can use the chicken in enchiladas or chicken salad.
  • Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander or fine mesh wire strainer.
  • Your broth is now ready for you to add cooked noodles or matzo balls. Enjoy.
  • Freeze leftover broth for later.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Place chicken and veggies into a mesh basket that fits into your Instant Pot. By using a mesh basket, you just need to lift out the basket to strain the soup. If you have a 6 quart or smaller, you may need to cut the chicken into pieces or aim for a chicken on the smaller (3 lb) side.
  • Put the basket containing all the goodies into the Instant Pot and cover with water. Be careful that you do not go past that max line.
  • Cook using the soup or manual button for 25 minutes, then NPR. It will take at least 30 minutes for the pot to build up pressure and begin the count down.
  • once the pressure has dropped, lift out the basket straining the broth. You can salvage some carrots and celery to serve in the soup. Cooked chicken is great in chicken salad or chicken enchiladas. Add some cooked noodles or matzo balls and you are ready to go.


It is important to keep this at a low simmer.  A hard boil will result in a cloudy broth. Kosher and organic chickens seem to have less gunk to skim off which is why those are preferred.
Trick to keep the onions from falling apart: remove the peel and put an x with a knife into both ends (not deep). 
Note – if you over salt the stock, add a quartered potato and cook for 20 minutes. This absorbs some of the salt.
After everything is cooked, I salvage the chicken for chicken salad. I sometimes put some into the soup when I serve it. Traditional chicken soup is served with broth, a few carrots, possibly some noodles or matzo balls and that is it.
I have found that the veggies have a funny consistency when thawed after freezing. So I usually just freeze the stock. Then when I thaw it, add in a few carrots and such and cook for 20 min until soft.
I do run the broth through a mesh strainer to clear out any bits. Add back in the veggies that I salvaged and serve with your favorite matzo ball or noodle. Also makes a great all-around stock, so I usually keep a bunch in my freezer.
Tip to remove fat: cool the broth in the fridge overnight. Skim off the fat that floats to the top (it solidifies). If you had a really fatty chicken and can see an oil slick on the soup, may want to stick it in the fridge overnight and then skim before freezing any.

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