Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nonna's Chicken Soup

My mom's chicken soup is the best...hands down!  But...it takes a while...like a few hours.  I can't tell you what warm memories this chicken soup brings back.  My mom has one of those huge white enamel stock pots and would make enough to freeze for future use. I've only made her chicken soup one time before and as with almost everything my mom makes - I still can't make it quite like hers. But this time..I got it!

Again, a few steps and some time involved here...but as with good home-cooking, the result is fabulous!

1 Whole Chicken
1 Large tomato or 2 smaller tomato's, cut in half
2 celery stalks, sliced in thirds
2 whole carrots, cleaned and sliced in half
1 medium onion, quartered
1/4 lemon
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
Bay Leaf

Chicken Preparation

  • Trim excess fat from chicken (usually trim near the open cavity)
  • If your chicken has the innards in the cavity - remove them
  • In a bowl, rinse your chicken off
  • Now, my mom will usually let it sit in little water with lemon in it - she has this thing about lemon removing the 'poultry' taste from it...she does this regardless of how she cooks her chicken it always gets a 'lemon' bath prior to cooking
  • Rinse of your chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put it in a stock pot
  • Cover chicken entirely with water and add about 2 cups more
  • Soup should remain on medium low heat - AT ALL TIMES
  • Do not add anything to your pot at this time - just the chicken
  • Simmer your chicken, you will start to notice a foam collecting at the top, my mother called this 'scumazza' or foam

  • You will periodically skim this off - whatever this is, you don't want it in your soup
  • Once you notice almost no more 'scumazza' you can start adding your vegetables
Soup Preparation
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pot including a little extra salt and pepper
  • Simmer for at least an hour, closer to 2 would be ideal!! 
  • This is what your pot should look like:

  • The chicken should be coming off the bone at this point
  • You can now start to remove any floating pieces of skin plus the skin that is on the chicken will come off very easy at this point - it's not that bad, really it isn't  :-)
Serving Your Soup
  • Place a colander over a separate stove top pan on medium heat
  • Add your chicken broth into the pan, the colander will catch all the vegetables
  • Add enough broth to serve you, your family, your friends, etc
  • When broth comes to a boil, add your pasta - ditalini, broken spaghetti, orzo, etc..
  • My mom served the chicken and vegetables in a separate bowl along side with the soup - this way you could add however much chicken and/or vegetables you wanted to into your soup
I hope I didn't make this more involved than it really is..because although it may seem like it's complicated - it's not.  If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll be happy to help!

I served this another one of my mom's other favorites - her seasoned bread which I will write about later!


  1. This is something i always screwed up..LOL>
    I'm going to try this, looks very easy!

  2. Great Sandy! Let me know how it comes out!

  3. Looks so good! Laughed at the "Scumazza" my mom calls it that too! LOL!!

  4. Yum! This is very similar to how my mom and Nonnie make their chicken soup. My Nonnie takes about 1/2 of the vegetables and purees them and then adds them back into the soup to give it some body. I freeze the broth with some vegetables and chicken for later and then add the pasta right before I serve it.