Persian Chicken Soup

by My Persian Kitchen on October 5, 2009


I have been sick since last Tuesday with a sore throat that just won’t give up and take a hike. I rarely get sick and frankly, I hate being sick.  I know that part of me not getting well has been my own fault though, because I just get up in the morning and go about my usual business. By Friday afternoon I was getting worse, especially at night when I started coughing.  Finally, I gave in and started taking Theraflu instead of loading up on Vitamin C and Zinc hoping that my body would heal itself out.  I pretty much spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday in bed.

So what kind of food comes to mind when one is sick? CHICKEN SOUP!!!

One of my favorite soups to eat while sick is the Chicken Soup featured in today’s post. It is simple yet very comforting.  It is easy to make and I always make enough to have leftovers for a few days. Believe it or not, it is also a very budget friendly meal to make.  I purchased all the ingredients from our local ethnic grocery store for less than $10!

Forgive me for the pictures being of OK quality. I have to tell ya, cooking and taking pictures at the same time while you are feeling under the weather is challenging.


1 whole chicken, skinned

1 large onion

3 carrots

4 small Yukon Gold potatoes

3 small dried Persian limes


Through the years that I have made this soup I made a couple of changes from the way I first learned how to cook it.  Just a couple of extra step for more flavor, that’s all I do.  Cut the veggie as shown above in the picture. Smash the dried Persian limes with a knife. By the way, I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes because you don’t have to peel them and also because I like how they maintain their shape and taste buttery.


Line the  bottom of your pot with the onion slices. Save one complete round to place inside the bird.


Place chicken breast down in the pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add potatoes, carrots, and dried Persian limes.


Add 2 cups of water.  Cook on medium for 2 hours.  Baste chicken every so often with the juices.  Also check and adjust seasoning.


You will end up with a delicious chicken soup with a fantastic tasting broth. Also, because the chicken is cooked breast down, the white meat will be juicy and tender with some added flavor from the onions.


I know that my little green friend on the top right hand corner of the above picture is anything but Persian. I was introduced to Mr. Jalapeño when I moved to the USA. We got along pretty well from the get go.  Much to my surprise, one fine day I found out that he is actually loaded with Vitamin C.  Since Mr. Jalapeño and I got along so well and I found out he can help out when one needs extra help when feeling under the weather, I decided to add him to my soup. I usually cut one in slices and throw it in my soup. Mr. Jalapeño adds a nice amount of heat and flavor to the soup and if you feel congested it totally opens you up.

Before I forget, another thing that I like to do is squeeze half of a Persian Lime on my bowl of soup.  So good!

It might sound strange, but you can also pour some of this soup over rice the same way you would with a Khoresht (stew).  It is really good that way too! Persian rice making methods can be found here and here.


I went to my  doctor’s office this morning and was seen by his very nice and sweet PA.  You know what she told me? She said that studies  show that eating Chicken Soup when sick actually helps. I giggled.  I thought I’d share with the rest of you!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Homa October 9, 2009 at 2:47 am

Yummmyyyy!!! I always make chicken soup when I’m ill but never thought about adding dried limes and Persianizing it. I always put loads of leeks and some turnips too, mmmmm…..

Lori Lynn October 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I hope you are better by the time you read this.
I adore chicken soup, would love to make the Persian kind. Where are you buying the dried limes?

My Persian Kitchen October 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Hi Lori Lynn,

I am actually still sick, got worst Monday night. AGH! There are two Persian markets on Hawthorne and PCH where you can buy Persian dried limes. Hawthorne International Market is on Hawthorne one block east of PCH (just after Jack in the Box). Shayan International Market is on PCH one block north of Hawthorne.

Let me know how it goes! ;)

My Persian Kitchen October 9, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I love the word “Persianizing” cause i am all about Persianizing!!!!! Turnips and I don’t get along….can’t handle their smell….never have since childhood. BUT I was always told they are good to eat when you are sick. Leeks on the other hand, I LOVE!

Mirek December 9, 2009 at 8:16 am

This looks great! I’m just making one but without the Persian limes in a slow cooker. I hope it works! Have you ever tried it in a slow cooker or used different vegetables before?


My Persian Kitchen December 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Mirek, no, I have not gotten too creative with Chicken soup as I only end up making it when I am sick. But I have made a good few meals in slow cookers!!

Turmeric February 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

How come you don’t add turmeric to the soup? Isn’t that usually added to Persian Chicken Soup?

My Persian Kitchen February 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Turmeric, you can definitely add turmeric if you want to. I add turmeric when I make the soup in the khoresht version…

Myriam March 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

Dear Sanam

A great recipe. I’d like to try my chicken soup with the Persian limes. Being Jewish I grew up on chicken soup and have collected some amazing recipes including my own inventions. I like to put fresh thyme and rosemary into mine.

During my alternative healing studies where I studied methods from China and Japan I came across chicken soup as an old Chinese remedy!

Surprise! Surprise! It’s not for nothing that they call it Jewish Penicillin.


Christine October 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Dear Sanam,

Thank you for your recipe! I’m here in Tehran and the waether made me ill. I was looking for a simple recipe on the internet. I found all the ingredients in the small grocery store next door (by the way it was the first time ever for my to buy dried limes). The soup really saved my life! And I decided to do more Persian cooking! :)

Greetings from Tehran!


Will February 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

Potatoes aren’t the most Persian things in the world either.

Josh February 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Wonderful looking recipe — it’s almost ready to eat and we’re having it along with some stuffed grape leaves, hummus and pita. Thank you for sharing! the photos were the clincher.

Bracing for the (hopefully it’s the only one of its kind this winter) big winter storm here in New Jersey…

Miriam February 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Are you kidding me ?? All the Persians around me keep complaining about my lack of use of potatoes! LOL!!!

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