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DV Home Cooking: Ridgefield Cantor Puts Love, And Veggies, In Chicken Soup

Cantor Deborah Katcho Gray in her Ridgewood, Conn. kitchen.
Cantor Deborah Katcho Gray in her Ridgewood, Conn. kitchen. Photo Credit: Submitted

DV Home Cooking is a series devoted to readers and their recipes. All we ask is that you're a home cook, not a professional chef. Got a favorite dish you want to share? Send it, along with the story behind it, to

Home Cook: Debbie Katchko-Gray, Ridgefield, Conn.,

Recipe: Cantor Debbie’s Chicken Soup for Shabbat

Back Story: "This is a recipe I’ve tweaked over the years. Using root vegetables absolutely improves the flavor -- add rutabaga, turnip, parsnip- -- it’s always the best soup anyone ever tasted, or so they tell me."


  • Half a chicken or package of chicken bones
  • Package of chicken soup mix from a matza ball box or use consommé cubes
  • 3 to 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • plus any of these-
  • 1 to 2 parsnip peeled, sliced
  • ½ rutabaga waxy turnip peeled and chopped 
  • A few small turnips peeled and chopped
  • A few garlic cloves, chopped
  • If you have parsley, cilantro or dill; add those along with salt and pepper to taste


  • Throw everything in a pot half filled with water.
  • Put a package of chicken soup mix from the matza ball box, or some consommé cubes.
  • After boiling an hour or two, remove chicken --cool, and remove bones -- put meat back in the pot.
  • Boil, skim off the top foam, let cool, skim the fat off the top -- reheat
  • Add matza balls if you want. Use a boxed mix to make it easy. I add a little more plain matza meal to make the matza balls more chewy; if you prefer them fluffy, keep them as it is.

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