I'm Jewish so I am very picky about chicken soup. This is actually what I make when someone in the family is not feeling well. We also make it as a beginning for every holiday meal. You can serve this with noodles, rice, matzo balls or kreplach. I'm providing the recipe with noodles for common appeal.
In order to make this right you should really start at least a day ahead of when you plan to serve but you don't have to. It will be lower in fat if you give it the extra day.
noodles or kreplach or matzo balls (served later with the soup)
Clean the chicken and put it in a large stock pot along with:
4 cleaned carrots, skin and all
3 whole stalks of celery
1 large peeled onion
1 peeled shallot
2 cloves peeled garlic, more if you desire
3 cleaned parsnips, skin and all
2 dried bay leaves
salt - start with a teaspoon and add as needed
herbs if you are adding them
Cover ingredients with water or chicken stock or combination of both. (use enough liquid to just cover the ingredients).
Bring to a boil, and remove froth from top. Lower temperature to a simmer and partially cover.
Cook for a couple of hours until the chicken/vegetables are cooked and the broth tastes like chicken soup. Adjust seasoning and salt at this point.
Remove from heat. Once cooled some, remove chicken and vegetables from stock, strain liquid. Reserve the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the bones, discard the skin and add the meat back to the liquid. You may decide to reserve some chicken for chicken salad etc. Put the soup in the refrigerator overnight to cool. The fat will solidify on the top of the soup and you can skim it off the next day.
Next day before serving:
Skim the fat off of the top of the soup.
Pour soup into a stock pot. Add 6 peeled, sliced carrots and 3 peeled and sliced parsnips to soup. Heat soup and cook on a simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
Cook noodles or matzo balls/kreplach separately and add to soup as you are serving. (Never add the noodles to the soup while it is cooking, they will absorb all of the liquid and get mushy. Keep them separate as leftovers for reheating.)
The soup freezes well. You can strain and keep as stock or freeze with chicken and veggies in it.