Grandma’s Chicken Soup

"A feel-good study by one of UNMC’s top researchers has proven to be comfort food for the media for nearly 30 years. Several years ago, Stephen Rennard, MD, one of UNMC’s top scientists, decided it would be fun to put the old folk wisdom to the test. Cultures all over the world have some version of the credo that if you’re sick, you should eat chicken soup. It’ll make you feel better. Grandma says so! So it must be true."


Grandma’s Chicken Soup

February 6, 2024


WRITTEN BY Kalani Simpson PUBLISHED May 25, 2021



  • 1 5- to 6-pound stewing hen or baking chicken
  • 1 package of chicken wings
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • 11 to 12 large carrots
  • 5 to 6 celery stems
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to boil.
  2. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Boil about 1 and a half hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates.
  3. Add the parsley and celery. Cook the mixture about 45 min. longer.
  4. Remove the chicken. The chicken is not used further for the soup. (The meat makes excellent chicken parmesan.)
  5. Put the vegetables in a food processor until they are chopped fine or pass through a strainer. Both were performed in the present study.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note: This soup freezes well.)  Matzo balls were prepared according to the recipe on the back of the box of matzo meal (Manischewitz).

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