Italian Chicken Soup Jewish PenicillinThis recipe is a bit different from other Jewish Penicillin recipes as an Italian flare is added with oregano and Italian tomatoes. When cold in pregnancy is getting you down, this recipe may be just what you need.

The Jews in Italy have strong bi-cultural roots which go back even before the birth of Christ, when the Jews already had an alliance with the Roman Empire. Under the leadership of Judah Maccabeus, many Israelites left the land of Israel to go to the "Eternal City" (Rome) in the second century BCE. It was not until the Romans destroyed the second temple in Jerusalem [70 CE] that the Jewish/Roman alliance was broken and the Jews were forced into slavery. About ten thousand Jews were transported to Rome to be used as workhands to help build the Coliseum. This image of history was frozen in time and will be remembered forever thanks to the Arch of Titus, where the Roman victory over the Jews was etched in stone.


6 bone-in chicken breasts
12 cups fresh chicken broth
2 cups crushed Italian tomatoes
1 diced onion
3 sliced carrots
3 chopped celery stalks
1 chopped red bell pepper
8 ounces orzo, uncooked
4 cups chopped spinach, fresh
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
Pepper to taste


  1. Peel skin off chicken breasts and freeze for broth later.
  2. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat.
  3. Place chicken breasts into the pot.
  4. Pour fresh chicken broth into the pot.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring broth to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Take chicken out of the pot and cool on a plate.
  8. Using a spoon, skim fat from the top of the broth.
  9. Increase heat to high and bring back to a boil.
  10. Throw onion, tomato, carrot, celery and red bell pepper into the broth.
  11. Reduce to medium heat and simmer vegetables for about 5 minutes.
  12. Add the orzo to the pot and cook based on manufacturer instructions.
  13. While orzo is cooking, debone chicken and shred meat.
  14. Add shredded chicken, parsley, oregano and spinach to the pot.
  15. Simmer for three to four minutes and season to taste.

Variations: Any of the vegetables in this recipe for Jewish Penicillin can be removed or substituted as desired. Spinach is commonly replaced with escarole or kale. Orzo can be replaced with any small pasta, as needed.

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