Chicken Soup and the secret ingredient

29 Mar

Chicken soup, with the mandatory matzoh balls, is not a treat in my house, it’s a staple. While I often make the soup when I sense our need for the “Jewish penicillin,” I think I am also prompted by the guaranteed oohs and aahs. Unlike other meals I put together, I can count on this one being a success.

As I gathered ingredients for  the soup today (the added impetus being a cold March day) I made sure to add my mother’s favorite, secret ingredient and the very reason I think my soup is always a success—parsnips. My mother always used more than the usual amount of parsnips and their sweet flavor continues to create a delicious, addictive flavor. Instead of buying the pre-made bag of soup vegetables, my mother would always buy 4 – 5  parsnips in addition to the carrots, celery, onion and garlic.

I am sure this is the first of many posts about special recipes and secret ingredients that we inherit from our mothers. And, it’s certainly a sentimental issue since they can be multi-generational and provoke delicious memories. My husband’s mother passed away before revealing the secret ingredient that gave her noodle kugel a uniquely delectable flavor. We think it was cream cheese, but do not know the amount or exact instructions. So, if you still can, ask your mom about those special dishes she makes.

This is a great opportunity to share favorite family recipes—what special or unique concoctions did your mom pass along to you?

 

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