Healing Polish Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Rosół) is an amazingly flavorful super clear golden broth served over egg noodles with freshly cooked tender chicken pieces and carrot slices. It not only tastes superior but will also help you chase viruses away and fell better when you have a cold.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
This homemade chicken soup is pure magic. The combination of spices and herbs makes it the best chicken broth you will ever taste and it is THE perfect remedy when you’re feeling under the weather, in the midst of a nasty cold, or just lonely and sad. I, together with all Polish grandmas, can guarantee this soup will make you feel better.
- Cooking the bone broth low and slow produces THE BEST, clear and silky flavorful bone broth.
- Though it takes a couple hours to cook on the stove, it basically makes itself with very little supervision.
- The cooking process will make your house smell like pure chicken soup comfort.
- This medicinal soup is absolutely packed with nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals (see next section for details).
- It’s a great way to use up veggies that are wilting in your fridge: limp carrots, parsley leaf stems and the green part of leek that you would normally throw out.
- This bone broth is a wonderful base for any soup or just for sipping in a mug.
- Make sure to also check out my Oven Baked Cabbage and Meatballs for another Polish-inspired healthy comfort food recipe.
THE HEALING PROPERTIES OF HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP
The medicinal power of homemade chicken soup is known across many cultures all over the world. It’s actually been scientifically proven that chicken broth has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce congestion in the upper respiratory tract. How cool is that?
What’s more, bone broth is full of good quality protein (collagen) and valuable minerals. Polish chicken soup is made with a ton of vegetables that release all its goodness into the broth. Rosół soup contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin and antioxidants that nourish your body and help you fight off viruses.
- Chicken on the Bone: I used a smallish whole organic chicken (2lbs) but you can choose to use chicken pieces such as whole legs, bone-in breasts, thighs or drumsticks. It’s really important to use good quality chicken for the best flavor and healing effects.
- Carrots: pick organic carrots, if possible. They truly taste much better than carrots treated with pesticides.
- Parsnips or Parsley Root: parsley root is what’s traditionally used to make rosół but if that’s not available in your area, use parsnips instead. I’ve been making this soup with parsnips for years with great success.
- Celery Root: also known as celeriac, look for it near horseradish, ginger and exotic fruit at your local grocery store.
- Leek: you will need about half of a large leek. Both white and green parts are fine, just make sure to clean it well as dirt tends to hide in between the thick leaves.
- Parsley Leaves: flat leaf parsley or curly leaf parsley are both fine. Stems are ok to use, too.
- Noodles: traditionally, egg noodles are used in rosół soup but if you prefer, you can use eggless noodles or any type of pasta you like. Noodles need to be cooked separately from the broth.
ROSÓŁ SPICES AND HERBS
This is what makes homemade Polish chicken soup unique. The depth of flavor from this spice and herb combo is truly unparalleled. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dried Bay Leaves: a staple in Polish cuisine
- Allspice: you will want whole allspice berries. I buy mine on Amazon in bulk.
- Black Peppercorns: to add a little spice to the soup.
- Salt: start with 2 teaspoon per 12 cups of water. You can always add more later!
- Lovage (optional): you can add dried or fresh lovage leaves.
WHAT IS LOVAGE?
Lovage is a tall plant used in cooking and medicine. Its leaves look a bit like parsley leaves and taste like a cross between parsley and celery. It’s traditionally used for flavoring broths in European cuisines giving it a great umami flavor. Though you won’t typically find it at US grocery shops, you can get it online or at a Polish or Eastern European deli.
HOW TO MAKE THE FAMOUS POLISH HEALING CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Step 1: Start with the chicken. You can leave the skin on but any excessive fat should be trimmed or else your broth may be too fatty. You can also remove most of the skin – it’s up to you. Place the chicken in a large pot and add 12 cups of cold water. Bring to a gentle boil and you will see that white foam starts forming on top of the water. This is “scum”, or protein that is extracted from the chicken. Remove it with a small strainer or a spoon. Simmer the chicken for about 30-45 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
Step 2: Prep the veggies. While the chicken is simmering, clean and cut the vegetables into large pieces. Small carrots are fine whole, larger ones should be cut in half. I usually cut the leek in half lengthwise, clean it, put it back together and tie it with parsley stems using cotton kitchen twine – it’s easier to remove later.
Step 4: Add veggies and spices. Place the prepared carrots, parsnips, celery root, leek and parsley leaves in the pot together with bay leaves, allspice berries, black peppercorns and lovage (if using). At this point I also salt the soup with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
Step 5: Cook low and slow. After you add the veggies and spices, simmer the soup for about 2-3 hours uncovered. It usually takes me 3 hours total to make rosół, counting from the time I start boiling the chicken.
Step 6: Strain the bone broth. Carefully remove the chicken (it will be falling apart) and set aside together with 2 carrots. Fish out all the remaining vegetables and discard. You can also save them and turn them into a delicious potato vegetable salad but for this chicken soup you won’t be needing them. Then take a fine mesh strainer or a sieve, place in a second pot and strain the broth. This will help you catch all the spices and small pieces. Taste the soup and see if it needs more salt.
Step 7: Shred the chicken. Using your fingers, take the chicken meat of the bones shredding or cutting into bite size pieces. Discard all bones and skin. Slice the cooked reserved carrots.
Step 8: Boil the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Step 9: Add cooked noodles, carrots and chicken to the pot. Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves or dill and serve hot.
MORE ROSÓŁ COOKING TIPS & TRICKS
- Fill the pot with vegetables. This is super important and I’ve learned it the hard way over the years. If you simmer the met with 2 sad carrots, you can’t expect that your soup will have a nice deep flavor. It will be pretty flat and basically taste like salted chicken water. Plus, the multitude of vegetables releases not only flavor, but also the medicinal properties of this soup aka vitamins and minerals.
- Use the best quality chicken you can. Organic free range chickens can be really pricy and I’m not saying you have to splurge on one. Just avoid super cheap commercial chicken because it will ruin this soup and may even turn it gray instead of nicely golden.
- Leave the spices whole. It will be easier to strain them out later and the broth will turn out nice and clear.
- Don’t boil it. It needs to simmer, not boil for two reasons. First, gentle cooking will prevent the broth from being cloudy. Second, if it boils aggressively for 3 hours, most of the deliciousness will evaporate and you’ll end up with very little liquid.
- Don’t cut the vegetables small. Leave them in big pieces or else they will start disintegrating resulting in a cloudy bone broth which is the opposite of what you want (clear and shiny).
- Avoid excessive fat. Pay attention to your raw chicken – if it has lots of visible white fat, trim it out (I use kitchen shears for this). If the skins look thick and white, maybe remove some of it. If you leave the chicken fatty, your soup will end up having a thick layer of fat on top which you will later have to skim – not a fun activity!
- Avoid adding extra water. You will be simmering the soup for a few hours which means that some of the liquid will necessarily evaporate. If it’s just a little, that’s totally ok. Out of the 12 cups of water I add in the beginning, I usually end up with about 10 cups of broth. If you have to add more water, do it in small increments – ½ cup no more often than every 30 minutes. Adding water late equals thinning out the flavor.
SUBSTITUTIONS & SERVING VARIATIONS
There are as many ways to make homemade chicken soup as there are households. Some cooks add garlic, onion, vinegar, cloves, cabbage and other veggies. My rosół soup is the way my family has always made it but feel free to alter it according to your own tastes and ingredients you have on hand.
- If you don’t have celery root, use a couple stalks of celery instead.
- Leek can be swapped for onion. Some people broil a halved onion over an open flame (if you have a gas stove or a torch) and add it to the soup for extra flavor and color. I don’t typically do this but you can certainly give it a try!
- For a mixed meat rosół soup, you can experiment with adding different kinds of meat on the bone. Chicken and beef bone broth is amazing but turkey and duck are also great choices. I’ve also made rosół using Cornish hens and it was delicious. The only common meat never used in rosół is pork.
- If you’re missing some veggies, such as parsnips or celery root, that’s ok. Just use lots of carrots and whatever you have on hand: onions, leeks, celery and green cabbage are all great choices. Just fill the pot with veggies and wait for the amazing flavors to develop.
- Dried or fresh lovage is completely optional and can be skipped.
- Instead of egg noodles, you can also make rosół with cooked white rice, Israeli couscous or just sip it on its own.
STORAGE & FREEZING TIPS
You can store this soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For best results I recommend freezing the bone broth only (without noodles, chicken and carrots). You can use it as THE BEST base for any soup or serve it with freshly cooked noodles and perhaps some shredded leftover chicken.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use boneless chicken to make rosół soup?
You can but I highly recommend using chicken on the bone to get the best flavor and healing properties that comes from bone broth.
Why is my broth cloudy?
Most likely you let the soup boil too violently or perhaps you didn’t remove the scum (grey protein) when the chicken first boiled.
Can I make rosół soup in an Instant Pot?
No. This particular soup needs to be simmered and cannot boil in order to remain clear. Instant Pot or pressure cooker use pressure and cook soups under pressure which is the opposite of simmering. Stick to the stovetop for this one!
MORE COZY SOUP RECIPES
- Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
- Spicy Lentil Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham and Pancetta
- Vegan Creamy Tomato Bean Soup
Healing Polish homemade chicken noodle soup (rosół soup) is an amazingly flavorful super clear golden broth served over egg noodles with freshly cooked tender chicken pieces and carrot slices. It not only tastes superior but will also help you chase viruses away and fell better when you have a cold.
2 lbs of chicken on the bone (whole chicken, legs, thighs or drumstics)
4 medium carrots
½ of celery root
1 leek (the white part)
a small bunch of parsley leaves with stems
3 bay leaves
4 whole allspice
10 black peppercorns
12 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of dried lovage herb (optional)
8 oz egg noodles, uncooked
- Trim most of the visible fat off the chicken.
- Place the chicken in a large pot and add 12 cups of cold water. Then bring to a gentle boil and you will see that white foam starts forming on top of the water. This is “scum”, or protein that is extracted from the chicken. Remove it with a small strainer or a spoon.
- Simmer the chicken for about 30-45 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
- While the chicken is simmering, clean and cut the vegetables into large pieces. Small carrots are fine whole, larger ones should be cut in half. I usually cut the leek in half lengthwise, clean it, put it back together and tie it with parsley stems using cotton kitchen twine – it’s easier to remove later.
- Place the prepared carrots, parsnips, celery root, leek and parsley leaves in the pot together with bay leaves, allspice berries, black peppercorns and lovage (if using). Add 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Simmer the soup for about 2-3 hours uncovered.
- Strain the bone broth. Carefully remove the chicken (it will be falling apart) and set aside together with 2 carrots. Fish out all the remaining vegetables and discard. Then take a fine mesh strainer or a sieve, place in a second pot and strain the broth. This will help you catch all the spices and small pieces.
- Taste the soup and see if it needs more salt. If yes, add another ½-1 teaspoon.
- Using your fingers, take the chicken meat of the bones shredding or cutting into bite size pieces. Discard all bones and skin. Slice the cooked reserved carrots.
- Boil the noodles in salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Add cooked noodles, carrots and chicken to the pot. Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves or dill and serve hot.
- Use the best quality chicken and carrots available to you.
- Don't let the soup boil - it may result in a cloudy broth. Simmering low and slow is the correct method of cooking this chicken soup.
- Don't cut the vegetables too small. Big pieces will give you a clearer broth.
- If you don't have all the vegetables in the recipe, you can make some swaps. Add more carrots, celery stalks instead of celery root, peeled or unpeeled onion instead of leek. You can also add garlic and cabbage. Lots of veggies in a pot = flavorful and healing soup.
- Go easy on salt. You can always add more at the end.
- Tying leeks and parsley stems with kitchen twine will make it easier to remove it once the soup is cooked.
- Serve with noodles, cooked white rice, Israeli couscous or on its own as bone broth.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: soups, dinner, lunch
- Cuisine: Polish, American
Keywords: Polish chicken soup, rosół soup, healing chicken noodle soup