Iranian Chicken SoupColds in pregnancy are not a reason to stay in bed while others are enjoying life. Chicken soup, also known as Jewish Penicillin, has been used for centuries to stop the symptoms of cold in pregnancy in their tracks and decrease the time needed to heal from the common cold. Pregnant women can feel safe using chicken soup and Jewish Penicillin recipes throughout pregnancy.

Jews in Teheran and Iran were not directly affected by persecution associated with World War II. The country did, however, face various anti-Jewish media presentations and sentiments during the time of the Holocaust. The founding of Israel in 1948 changed the face of Jewish Iran. Before Israel was founded, there were approximately 100,000 Jews in Iran. After the massive emigration and effects of the Shah in later years, the Jewish population in Iran is now though to hover between 11,000 and 40,000.



Chicken stock, 2 qts
Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp
Diced onion, 1 cup
Uncooked pearl barley, 1 cup
Turmeric, 1 tsp
Juice of 1 lime
Tomato paste, ¼ cup
Diced carrot, 1 cup
Sour cream, ½ cup
Chopped parsley, ½ cup
Shredded cooked chicken, 2 cups
Lime wedges, 8
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Pour chicken stock in the pot and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat if needed.
  3. Place a second large stock pot over medium heat and add oil.
  4. Saute vegetables until translucent.
  5. Add pearl barley to the vegetables and sauté for two minutes.
  6. Remove warmed chicken stock from the stove and pour into the pot with vegetables and barley.
  7. Add turmeric, juice from one lime, tomato paste and pepper.
  8. Increase heat and bring stock to a boil.
  9. Turn heat back down to simmer and allow to cook for one hour.
  10. Add chopped carrots and chicken and simmer for 30 more minutes.
  11. Add water to the chicken soup if it becomes too thick.
  12. Spoon sour cream into a small bowl.
  13. Ladle a small amount of the hot soup into the bowl of sour cream and whisk together.
  14. Add the sour cream back into the soup pot and stir well.
  15. Add fresh parsley and stir.
  16. Serve in large bowls with lime slices.
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