Yukh – A One-Eyed Soup

You’ve heard of a one-armed bandit, but what about a one-eyed soup? Hershele of Ostropol, a famous prankster and jester who lived about 200 years ago (I believe I’ve mentioned him before), traveled to another town and went to an inn.

“Do you have a yukh – chicken soup?” – he inquired.

“But of course, – said the offended innkeeper, – the best yukh you’ve ever tasted!”

“In that case, make me a goldene yukh, mit goldene oygn (a golden soup with golden eyes), and I’ll pay you a ruble for each eye.”

Trying to get as many golden circles of fat on the surface of the soup as possible, the innkeeper cooked his fattest chicken and proudly served the soup. The entire surface was thick with fat.

“Here is one ruble, – the wily jester offered, – this soup has only one eye – a yukh mit ein oyg!”

I grew up on stories about Hershele, but this one is among my favorites. There are several books, a play, and a couple of movies (accessible on Youtube), but I keep hearing my grandmother’s soft voice telling Hershele anecdotes in Yiddish.  And, of course, chicken soup, “the Jewish penicillin,” has always been considered a remedy for all problems, physical and emotional alike.  The great 12th century Jewish sage and physician Rambam in his book On the Cause of Symptoms recommends it “to neutralize body condition,” which includes curing leprosy and asthma. Seven hundred years later, a study conducted at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach confirmed many of Rambam’s chicken soup prescriptions (http://www.myjewishlearning.com).

Yukh 1.jpg

To make a healthy chicken soup, I quarter a whole chicken and undress it – take the skin off, other than from the wings which are my treat. Naked chicken parts hide in a crock pot cooking bag – they are bashful! – and go into the crock pot, covered with water. Here is the trick: set the crock pot on high and bring the chicken water to boil. Then pull the bag out, discard the first water, wash the chicken pieces thoroughly, and place them in a clean bag.  Fill it with water and bring it to boil again.

Yukh 2.jpg

While you are waiting for the second chicken water to boil, you can get your vegetables ready. I use only carrots, parsnip, celery, and onions. Peel and wash them, of course, and cut the onion crisscross half-way on the bottom, like this:

Yukh 3.jpg

This is not my grandmother’s whimsy; the soup does taste sweeter this way!

Yukh 4.jpg

Cut the rest of the veggies into bite size pieces and get large handfuls of fresh parsley and dill ready. Once the chicken water is boiling, drop all the veggies in there, season with salt and pepper, and put parsley and dill bunches on top. Turn the crock pot to low and forget about it for a few hours, or until the chicken is totally and thoroughly done and falling apart.

yukh-5

As Hershele was attending a funeral, he overheard the widow complaining bitterly about all the treatments and medications administered to the deceased.

“What medications? Give him chicken soup!” – advised Hershele.

“But he is dead – it wouldn’t help him!”

“It wouldn’t hurt either,  – said the jester, pouring himself another vodka, – a yukh is a yukh!”

As you can see, my yukh does not have a multitude of fatty “eyes” floating on the surface. It has only one eye, and that one is healthy, for a good a healthy New Year! Shana Tova! A Zis Yor!

A great kudos to wonderful Esme of https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/ who runs and coordinates the recipe exchange program and who has been unfailingly posting every holiday recipe I throw her way in order to get it in before the holiday – thank you, dear Esme! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole chicken quartered and skinned
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • A large handful of fresh parsley
  • A large handful of fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

  • Place chicken pieces in crock pot bag inside crock pot, fill bag with water. Set crock pot on high.
  • Bring to boil, discard water, wash chicken pieces thoroughly. Place in a clean bag inside crock pot, fill with water, bring to boil.
  • Peel onion, cut crisscross half way on the bottom. Cut the rest of vegetables into bite size pieces. Add to chicken.
  • Season with salt and pepper, place parsley and dill on top. Cover,reduce setting to low. Cook for 4 – 5 hours until done.

Enjoy! 

 

 

65 Comments Add yours

  1. Never heard of this… should be really comforting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Really? There is even a series of books called “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Very inspirational!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks Dolly for your compliments and write up in your post – Much appreciated. I will release this one around midnight my time. Hope that’s OK with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anything is ok with me, dear! You are going above and beyond, and I truly appreciate it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My absolute pleasure ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  3. lilyandardbeg says:

    I remember reading about some research into the benefits of chicken soup- it really worked well for things like cold and lack of energy. Maybe it’s placebo (or rather the power of our childhood comfort food) – but it did seem to be better than OTC medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. According to the Mount Sinai study, it’s not placebo. It’s real for pulmonary and respiratory ailments. I haven’t looked into any other research, though, because, other than for holidays, all my soups are vegan, as you might have noticed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. lilyandardbeg says:

        I like soups-and even if they’re not the famous chicken soup- they have a soothing effect on my body (and even more so – on my mind). At least that’s what I choose to believe 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My husband thinks that too, so I have to have soup on the table every day.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. lilyandardbeg says:

        your husbands seems very much my type !

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, he is everybody’s type! Big fluffy red-haired cats are imminently lovable.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. lilyandardbeg says:

        red-haired everything is the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Famous chicken soup – “the Jewish penicillin” – oh yes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brings out memories, doesn’t it?

      Like

      1. For you anything Dolly

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the recipe and the story. I was reading the comments and I too believe that chicken soups helps you recover from illness, at least quicker.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! It is true about chicken soup – confirmed by scientific studies.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sumith Babu says:

    As usual nice recipe and story. I am so adored with your blog Dolly!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, you are too kind!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Since today is a National Chicken Noodle Soup Day, according to https://foodimentary.com, and since we are getting close to Passover, which means Chicken Minus Noodles Soup , I am repeating the soup for you, Beautiful People, and you can add your own noodles. Enjoy!

    Like

  8. lifelessons says:

    I must ask why you put the chicken in a crock pot bag, what a crock pot bag is, and why you throw away the first water and wash the chicken. Are you trying to get rid of all the fat? Educate me, please.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I am trying to get rid of extra cholesterol – who needs that! But also because my grandmother did that, so I am doing it. As to crock pot bags, those are your plastic baking bags that come in different sizes. It’s much easier to pull out a bag than to empty out a big heavy crock pot. It is also easier to clean the crock pot after a cooking bag has been pulled out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lifelessons says:

        Oh.. I thought it was like a bouquet garni that you put herbs in so you got the flavor but not the actual herb stalks. I thought you were isolating the chicken in a gauze or net bag.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That I used to do for my father, may he rest in peace, who wouldn’t eat soup with anything green in it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. lifelessons says:

        Ha. There must be a background story to that!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Not really, just spoiled first by mother (my grandmother), then by wife (my mother), then by me. I am sure you’ve met people who are so loveable that everyone enjoys spoiling them. My dad had this quality.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for pingback.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A_Boleyn says:

    Really enjoyed the story. My mom’s chicken soup always had lots of ‘eyes’ on top. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! I am sure your mother was a fabulous cook, as is her daughter. 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A_Boleyn says:

        I didn’t appreciate her cooking until I was an adult and long past when I started doing some cooking myself. And she had all her recipes memorized … though over the years she said that she had forgotten how she made a number of them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My grandmother also had all her recipes memorized. At some point I realized that I was perhaps the only one who could write them down while I still remembered most of them and while she was still around to answer questions if I had any. I started, and somehow it morphed into a short novel. It is called “My Grandmother’s Recipes,” though, but there are no recipes in it.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Osyth says:

    Although not Kosher, I think you would have enjoyed the clear chicken broth with kaseknoephle (little cheese dumplings) where I am staying in Bavaria (you would also enjoy the history of the private Schloss I am privileged to be invited to) …. absolutely delicious and I know yours will be even better (minus dumplings, plus Dolly power!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kaseknoephle are called shlishkes in Yiddish, and I love them, but not in soup, chicken or otherwise. I have two variations, dairy and non: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/cheese-shlishkes-lazy-kreplach/
      https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/dairy-free-shlishkes/
      Enjoy yourself in Bavaria! I am looking forward to reading about the Schloss – no doubt, it will be a fascinating story, coming from your perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Osyth says:

        I found Bavaria to be dumpling heaven …. I am very happy to find your Yiddish recipe and may even give them a go 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am glad! Enjoy the dumpling heaven!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Osyth says:

        WE had a wonderful time … posts will follow 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Looking forward to reading them.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. weggieboy says:

    The cooking bag hint is a great idea! I make lots of crockpot meals and hate cleaning the crockpot afterwards. Also, I can’
    t wait to try this chicken soup recipe!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Doug! I am so glad you like the recipe.

      Like

      1. weggieboy says:

        You definitely post the winners, Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re too kind!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. purpleslob says:

    Clever Hereshele! Chicken soup must be homemade, or not fit to eat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree, but how do I put something purple into it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Hmmm, put it in a purple bowl?? Float a purple “eye” in it?? lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Still thinking…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        I know you’ll figure it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. When my laptop stops crashing every 10 minutes – drives me NUTS!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Now I want Chicken soup for breakfast! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it, lady! Who says you can’t?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

  14. A really nutritious chicken soup is the best medicine against a heavy flue. And it is good for the soul and mind as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is! Thank you so much for your kind comment!

      Like

  15. marymtf says:

    Lovely story, but I don’t get it, Dolly. If you toss out the first water and then cook the chicken in a plastic bag, where’s the flavour coming from? I just place cooled and strained soup in fridge overnight and skim hardened fat off the surface next morning. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I you cook an entire chicken in 2 quarts of water, there is plenty of flavor with no fat.
      Thank you for stopping by, dear Mary!

      Like

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