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Mrs. Ginsberg's Chicken and Onion Soup

Handed down from generation to generation, onions make this recipe the quintessential recipe for a comforting and healing soup. I usually roast a whole chicken and use the carcass for the soup.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Optional: Make a day ahead for flavors to meld 1 day
Servings 6 servings
Calories 11kcal
Author Lillian Lake


  • Large stovetop pot
  • Paring knife
  • Colander
  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • Large bowl


  • 3 lb (1.36kg) Fresh or thawed roasting chicken
  • 8 cups (1.9L) Water Some liquid may boil off, add more to make 8 cups (1.9L)
  • 4 large stalks Celery Use the leaves, too, if you have them
  • 1 large Onion
  • 4 sprigs Herbs Any combination of rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • 1 tbsp (5ml) Salt Use as much as you prefer
  • Pepper Use as much as you prefer


  • I use a whole roasting chicken. After the carcass is picked nearly clean, put the meat aside for other dishes, reserving some to add to the finished broth.
  • Add the carcass to a large pot. Cover. This usually takes at least 8 cups of water. Cut the onion in quarters, dice the celery and carrots and add to the pot. This is a good time to add fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Dried can be used as well, A nice Italian mix works perfectly. Now add 6 garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. A good test to know if it's cooked enough is to remove a bone and blow on it. If it turns white, your broth is done.
  • Drain the contents of the pot carefully into a colander you've set in a large bowl. If you want a clear broth, proceed to strain the resulting broth in a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  • This broth can be sipped hot "as is" or reheated with more vegetables. I cook quinoa, pasta, or rice separately and serve separately. These ingredients can get soggy when stored for later use. Each person can then also take as much as they like or none at all.
  • This broth freezes really well which makes it an excellent choice to make ahead for future meals or to use the broth as an added flavor for other dishes.


Calories: 11kcal