Cooking has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. It became a necessity to keep my family nourished and healthy, especially during times when our household relied on a single income. The luxury of dining out or ordering food for our family of five was not an option, a circumstance that, in hindsight, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Back then, the profound impact that food has on both our physical and mental health wasn't as clear to me as it is today. I'm certain my children might have felt left out for not visiting popular fast-food chains like many of their peers. However, their lack of exposure to fast food meant they never developed a craving for it. There's a family story we often laugh about: once, during a 6-hour drive to our vacation destination, without enough homemade food to last the journey, we had to stop at a well-known fast-food restaurant. To my amusement, the kids didn't like the food at all! At that time, I hadn't fully grasped the significance of diet on our health, but when I did, oh boy, was I grateful for the home-cooked meals I'd been preparing all along.
Now, as adults, I can see my children appreciate the value of healthy eating as a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. It fills me with pride to see them making conscious food choices—supporting local farmers, scrutinizing food labels, and understanding the potential harm that food from big chains can cause to both our bodies and the environment.

People often argue that they don't have the time to cook, and I empathize. Life is busy. I was a busy mom too, juggling drives to three different schools, after-school activities, community volunteering, and my roles as a wife, daughter, and sister. Despite the chaos, I always found time to prepare meals. Soups are my go-to, and there's always a jar of soup ready in my fridge for when time is tight. A batch made on a less hectic day ensures I have a quick, nutritious meal ready in minutes. Chicken soup, in particular, is a favorite in my household.

Homemade Chicken Soup: A Staple in My Kitchen

In my homeland, many families cherish their Sunday dinners with a steaming pot of homemade chicken soup. This tradition wasn't limited to Sundays in my family home; it was also our remedy for illness. I've proudly carried on this "chicken soup" tradition. My mother's recipe, enriched with chicken gizzards and hearts, always brought a special touch to the broth, and I've always enjoyed fishing them out for myself.

Chicken bones, duck, or goose bones - you can mix them or use only one kind. When I am making a batch of broth as a base for the feature soup, I add some beef soup bones as well. You can also use the whole chicken or a soup hen to make it.

  • 1 -1.5 kg of bones should be enough for 3 litres.
  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 large parsley root
  • 1/2 piece of celery root
  • Green part of parsley
  • Green part of celery
  • Lovage, if available
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 4-5 allspice berries
  • 5 peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper

  • Thoroughly wash the bones. Transfer to a pot, cover with water (about 3.5 liters).
  • Place the pot on the stove and heat until the water starts to boil. Add peeled and cut into smaller pieces of vegetables – carrots, parsley, and celery, as well as washed parsley leaves, if you have it – also a sprig of lovage.
  • Add peppercorns, allspice berries, and a spoonful of salt. Cook for 3 hours on low heat, with the lid slightly ajar.
  • If a lot of water evaporates, it should be topped up with hot, boiled water.
  • After cooking, season with salt to taste.

Serve the broth with thin pasta cooked in salted water, add sliced carrot from the broth, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or dill.
I often serve the broth with egg drops or any type of noodles I have.
The remaining broth should be strained, boiled, and closed in jars. After cooling, put it in the fridge. It will serve us as a base for other soups.
Whether it's the convenience of a jar of soup or the nurturing process of cooking from scratch, the essence of home cooking lies in its ability to bring health, satisfaction, and joy to our lives. It's a legacy of love and care I'm proud to pass down through generations.