There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of chicken soup when you’re under the weather, or when the weather has you chilled to the bone. Lovingly called “Jewish penicillin” and with a bestselling series of books bearing its name, chicken soup is a must when you’re sick, and it’s a warming, deeply satisfying meal on days in between. Researchers say it really does helps reduce upper-respiratory inflammation (though they’re not sure why), meaning your mother and her mother were right about why you need it. Here are a few of our favorite healthy and wholly slurp-worthy chicken soups.
18 Palmer Ave, Bronxville; 914.346.8883
Naturally dairy-free with GF noodles on request, the hearty bowl at this bastion of small-batch cooking begins with thoughtfully sourced chicken parts, gently simmered with herbs and classic mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots) for three-plus hours. Noodles and oodles of poached, shredded white meat are added to the broth so that there’s enough to fill every spoonful. Also available are chicken-dumpling soup (like a pot pie in liquid form) and collagen-boosting bone broth, served daily.
1 Willet Ave, Port Chester; 914.937.8226
With a zing and zip like no other, the house-made chicken stock at this eclectic, waterside taco joint boasts epazote, an herb commonly used in Mexico with a flavor that is pungent and lemony. The soup is loaded with white and dark meat chicken, jalapeños, onions, potatoes, sawed-off ears of sweet corn, and cilantro. A squeeze of lime adds extra tang.
34 Triangle Ctr, Yorktown Heights; 914.302.2886
751 Central Ave, Scarsdale; 914.874.5506
Not a one-pot meal, the standout soup at this family-owned and operated den of homestyle cuisine from Nepal, Tibet, and India begins with bone-in chicken ever so slowly bubbling on one burner, while crushed ginger, garlic, and water boil on another. Once cooked, the chicken is pulled from the bone and added to the garlic-ginger solution. From there, turmeric, salt, and timur, a Nepalese Szechuan pepper, go in along with chopped potatoes, carrots, and grilled celery.
181 N Main St, Port Chester; 914.937.9489
Chef and owner Jeff Kohn grew up on his Austrian Jewish grandmother’s chicken soup, and his customers can, too. Fresh stock from neck and back meat is simmered with the whole bird and fresh ginger before white meat is pulled from the bone and stirred back in.
“I’m a parsnips guy,” says Kohn, who adds them to soup along with diced carrots and leeks, yielding “all the right aromatics.” Fresh dill is added to order, “bringing it to the next level and taking me back home,” says Kohn.
1 N Broadway, Tarrytown; 914.524.9687
190 E Main St, Mount Kisco; 914.242.8965
242 Market St, Yonkers (Ridge Hill); 914.437.8490
501 Marble Ave, Pleasantville; 914.579.2274
Legend has it that when life gives them lemons, Greek grandmas make avgolemono! The rich and fragrant soup starts out as a silky sauce of egg yolks, chicken broth, and a whole lotta lemons. The concoction simmers delicately until thickened, at which time chunks of chicken and rice are added. Warm pita slices on the side are a must.
10 Fisher Ave, Tuckahoe; 914.346.8650
48 E Pkwy, Scarsdale; 914.722.4949
This rich, savory sensation doesn’t grace the menu every day, but when it does, regulars get a heads up via text. It’s born from fresh chicken stock and spices imported from “a woman in Tel Aviv whose life is devoted to knowing everything about spices and herbs,” says chef and owner Tal Campana. Fresh baby spinach, carrots, butternut squash, and chickpeas add substance, along with white and dark meat chicken and house-grated turmeric. (When it sells out, scoop up the chicken-yucca soup ASAP.)
211 Main St, New Rochelle; 914.235.4595
This signature Italian soul soother starts with homemade chicken broth simmered with egg, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and fresh parsley or spinach, depending on geography. Stateside chefs like spinach, but, when in Rome, or at this family-run haven of authentic Italian fare, parsley is in the pot. “It’s simple,” says Rina Spadaro, “but, you have to do it right because of the egg.”