My European parents brought me up on chicken soup!
I find there are nicer soups nowadays, with unusual ingredients and as I like to experiment, I do not make chicken soup more than probably two or three times a year.
It IS nice and I would only use a bought one if I have no stock in the freezer for cooking. The bought one is absolutely nothing like the home made one.
I put chicken pieces back in often, however the real Jewish chicken soup is, I believe, a clear broth.
I was born to a pure vegetarian mom , so no chicken soup for us. We had turmeric milk and some other homemade stuff when we were sick. So, even though I eat chicken as a grown up, I am not used to having chicken soup when I am sick.
I don;t know if it helps or if that's just an old wives tale but I find it easy to digest when I am not well. Perhpas that is the magic of it, that is is comforting and digestable and so encourages the ill to eat.
I think it depends on how the soup has been made. Homemade with proper stock, it is the perfect food for invalids as it is highly nourishing and very easy to swallow and digest. Bought soup though? I wouldn't rate it personally. Too many additives and you've no idea how it has been made or what processes have been used to preserve it. It won't taste as nice and it isn't as good for you.
As for the soul...... well I imagine the good there is done by knowing that someone loves and cares about you, enough to make and bring you chicken soup!
Oh Yes! I always loved the traditional chicken soup my mum used to make with the carcass of the chicken .It always was a cure-all for childhood ailments and we always felt so much better for having had some!!! I have often made my own, just like mum's and I still enjoy the warm and cheerful memories it brings when I eat it!.VERY good for the soul!!!!
I read somewhere that it's the protein that's supposed to be good for you when recovering from illness, so if you're so inclined it's easy to make a high protein vegetarian equivalent, for example lentil soup, or chickpea and coconut which I love. Ex battery hens end up as soup and nuggets because they are too old and tough and abused to be eaten otherwise, and that makes me sad.
In winter I make chicken soup as often as once a week. I don't follow recipes so every batch is slightly different. It is comfort food in our household. Because it has so many vegetables and garlic etc we feel it is very good nutrutionally and that will help if you are getting crook.
I make my own chicken soup which is a clear (isn) north with leak and a little pasta and a lot of black pepper but I find it REALLY hard to find an old, fatty boiler chicken. The chickens I buy always seem to lack any flavour. You need a chook with a lot of fat on it to get good stock.
Fran, I buy chook necks, & other cheap pieces', & they work well.
In this day, & age, you won't find an old fatty boiler of a chook.
I also put in any leftover roast chicken I've in the freezer.
I make a 'bed' of Celery, place chookie bits atop, then veggies' of every description, fill with cold water, cook on high for 8-12 hours', in the Crock-Pot.
Yes donjo you are right, no hope of an old boiler now. Have even tried at specialty shops at the Victoria Market to no avail. Tried all chicken giblets, all chicken necks. Tried 20 (yes…twenty) chicken carcasses (frames)……no flavour. I wonder if it is all worth the fuel to do the cooking or boiling.