Grandma Lil’s Famous Chicken Soup

7 Nov

What could possibly be more cozy than a big bowl of chicken soup on a chilly fall afternoon? My thoughts exactly, which is why I decided to make my Grandma’s “famous” chicken soup this weekend. Why is it famous, you ask? Because when we were kids, my cousins, brother, sister and I loved this soup so much that we thought she should sell it and make millions of dollars and become famous. Like, more famous than the Campbell’s people. Grandma never sold her recipe, but we  still always referred to it as “Grandma’s Famous Soup.” Nothing evokes stronger memories of childhood than the smell of this soup simmering away on the stove. She even used these special noodles which were really like teeny tiny dumplings that I’m sure were made by hand by the little old Hungarian ladies at her church and you can’t find in any store. Thanks to a little searching, I found some! Thank you, internet!! I did not have these on hand when I made the soup this weekend, but will definitely be making it with these noodles in the future. So, if you want the full “Grandma’s Famous Soup” experience, you can buy them online here:  *One of these days I will figure out how to insert a hyperlink into my post!

Clearly I need a bigger pot! Chicken and veggies are working their magic. See all that foam? That’s the fat that you want to skim away every now and then.

I skimmed off the fat and added carrots and parsley. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 5 hours or more. I flipped the chicken over halfway through because my water didn’t exactly cover the chicken and I wanted to make sure that the whole chicken was cooked through. (Tip:  if you buy carrots with the tops still on them, just throw those greens in. They are very similar to parsley, and you don’t have to make an extra purchase!)

The hubs is helping shred the chicken to put back in the soup and Bella is very interested in getting her paws on some! She’s a greedy kitty.

After taking out the peppers, onion, kohlrabi, tomato, cabbage, and parsley, I put it in a strainer over a measuring cup or directly over the soup so I can pour the liquid back in the soup. Don’t throw it away before doing this! It adds so much flavor back in the soup!

Obviously nothing can compare to my Grandma’s soup, but I’m proud to say that I came pretty darn close! Enjoy! 🙂

My Grandma Lillian’s Famous Chicken Soup


  • 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • 3-4 quarts of water (depending on the size of the pot you have. Use the biggest you’ve got!)
  • 5-6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Parsley greens
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • wedge of cabbage
  • 1 green pepper, cut in half
  • 2-3 pieces of chopped celery
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 Kohlrabi bulb (when in season)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb of noodles (any kind you like! I used an egg noodle called Kluska noodles.)


  1. Put chicken in pot and cover with water. Skim the fat off the top 2-3 times when starting to boil.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and veggies. My grandma doesn’t add the parsley and carrots until the end so they aren’t too mushy, but I threw it all in and thought it was fine.
  3. Simmer the soup on medium-low heat for about 5 hours, or as long as you can stand it. The longer it cooks, the better it will be!
  4. Continue to skim the fat off the top of the soup occasionally.
  5. After about 5 hours, using a slotted spoon, take all of the veggies out of the soup except the carrots and celery and set aside. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Take off the skin, and shred the white meat into bite size pieces and put back into the soup. I only use the white meat, but feel free to add the dark if you want.
  6. Put the veggies in a strainer over the soup and get the remaining liquid back into the pot. You don’t want to lose any of that flavor! Taste the broth with a spoon at this point for seasoning.
  7. Cook your noodles separately and don’t add them to the pot or else the noodles will soak up all the liquid like a sponge. (Learned that one the hard way!)
  8. Ladle yourself a big bowl and enjoy! 🙂

2 Responses to “Grandma Lil’s Famous Chicken Soup”

  1. Jonathan Blackhall November 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    To make a link in the WordPress Visual editor, you should just need to click the button that looks like a chain link. (You can either highlight a word and then click that button to supply the link, or just click the button and then supply both the link text and URL.) I assume you would have been able to figure that out, which means you’re probably using this new “quick post” screen that shows up when you log in. Instead, try writing a post from the WordPress visual editor (if you haven’t already). Hover over your name/picture at the top right (when logged in). When the menu opens up, hover over your blog title. Then in the new menu, click “New Post”. If that’s already what you’re doing (or if you’ve already been to that screen, then make sure you’re using the Visual Edito, which I assume you are because otherwise you probably wouldn’t know how to insert a picture. If the new Visual Editor is too much for you, try clicking the “fullscreen” button in the visual editor buttons. This brings you to “Zen Mode”, which is much nicer to write in.

  2. Nathan Vilagi November 24, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Awesome Blog I did not realize you had such a passion for the culinary craft! If you ever feel like changing you profession let me know I can always use Sous Chefs.

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