Chicken soup with dill and a slice of Grandmother's Soup Kugel PICTURE: Deb Lindsey
For every cook who knows from real chicken soup, there are probably six others who think it's fine to simmer naked chicken breasts in canned broth and call it a day. Convenience has its place in the kitchen; that's what modernity demands. 

But in the matter of homemade vs. expedient, the latter settles for less. Restorative and magic-cure powers aside, a bowl of real chicken soup satisfies at almost any time of year because it's the lightest comfort food around. Its aroma is as complex as that of handcrafted coffee, with a hint of sweetness and grassy herb. Its vegetables are crisp-tender, the phrase food writers reach for when describing a plant texture that yields to a gentle bite. Some noodles, maybe a planetary matzoh ball, may have been introduced just long enough to absorb a broth whose surface must shimmer with diaphanous fat. 

The chicken itself ought to taste like . . . chicken. All of that doesn't happen in 30 minutes. However, it can take less work and less time than you may think. Through testing and tips from experts, we have developed a method for making chicken soup that fits the description above. 

Hopefully, it can convince the canned broth-ers and the takeout-reliant to go an extra step or two, and it might even budge more-experienced hands to tweak their own favorite recipes. The perfume of this soup on the stove could do that all on its own.

The Washington Post