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Homemade chicken corn soup is a staple in Amish kitchens, especially, it seems, in Pennsylvania where the recipe is quite popular in the Pennsylvania Dutch community. I think the tradition probably began because the soup is hearty and contains just very basic ingredients. And corn is a summer staple in most Amish chickens (so is chicken), so the combination of chicken and corn simmering in a soup is prized year-round.
I have hardly ever seen an Amish cookbook that doesn't contain a chicken corn soup recipe. A bowl of soup and a hunk of homemade bread makes for a super supper.
📜 Chicken Corn Soup History
Chicken corn soup is a popular soup that is enjoyed all over the world in various versions, but the Amish kind is thick on chicken and fresh summer corn, and unlike Asia incarnations is light on spice. Among the Amish chicken and corn go to together like peanut butter and jelly. There's even a popular chicken corn casserole that is basically the soup without the broth.
Interestingly the first known versions of the soup were created by Native Americans, who used corn as a staple ingredient. When European settlers arrived in North America, they brought their own recipes for chicken soup, and these recipes were eventually combined with Native American recipes to create the modern-day chicken corn soup.
Among the Amish, chicken corn soup became a "go-to" because of its simplicity and some ascribed curative qualities to the chicken soup parts.
There are many different variations of chicken corn soup, and each recipe is unique with family versions passed down among the Amish German generations. Some recipes call for the addition of potatoes, carrots, or other vegetables, while others use cream or milk to thicken the soup. There are also many different ways to season the soup, with some recipes calling for herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, or sage.
🥣 Popular Variations of Chicken Corn Soup
Here are some of the most popular variations of chicken corn soup:
- Classic chicken corn soup: This is the most basic version of the soup, and it is made with chicken, corn, celery, onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Creamy chicken corn soup: This version of the soup is made with cream or milk, which gives it a rich and creamy texture. Other ingredients that are often added to this version of the soup include potatoes, carrots, and herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, or sage.
- Chicken corn rivel soup: This is a version that has Amish rivels in it, little dumplings that add some great depth to the soup.
- Asian chicken corn soup: This version of the soup is made with chicken, corn, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It is often served with noodles or rice.
There are also thicker versions of this soup, known as chicken corn chowder. Some people thicken chicken corn soup with a cornstarch slurry or flour, but I like mine the traditional way.
No matter which variation you choose, chicken corn soup is a delicious and comforting dish that is sure to please. So next time you are looking for a warm and satisfying meal, give chicken corn soup a try. Your stovetop will be a busy place while the super is being made, but the work is worth it.
🐔 Chicken Corn Soup With a Twist
Many Amish recipes lack in seasonings and spices that other styles of cooking showcase. Amish cooking, historically, was relatively bland compared to other cultures. I mean, Cajun cooking, for example is the exact opposite.
So when my parents made this, they thought the soup was great, but a bit bland. So for the leftovers the added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a chicken bouillon cube before reheating the whole batch and they really liked it this way.
But you could also add carrots, onion, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, celery, garlic, whatever you need to do to adjust the flavor to your taste and preference. You can never go wrong with extra veggies. This soup does freeze very well, but if you are going to do that, stick it in your freezer before you add the noodles. You can easily reheat in the microwave. Or you can just stick leftovers in the refrigerator.
Most Amish would use fresh of the cob corn during the summer or home-canned corn during the winter. Nothing beats fresh summer sweet corn. But you could also experiment with creamed corn!
There are just so many variations of this recipe, with each family having their own. For instance, some versions feature potatoes cut into bite-size pieces.
Chicken corn soup starts with - chicken! You can use cut chicken breasts, leftover chicken, chicken from a rotisserie, whatever you have!
The corn is added later in the recipe and adds a lot of wonderful color and flavor. Summer sweet corn is my favorite.
I love that we had a package of homemade, Amish-made noodles on hand. This definitely lent the soup an air of Amish authenticity. But you can use whatever kind of pasta you want.
Chicken broth can be added in place of some of the water for more chicken flavor. If you are watching sodium, keep an eye on the cans of stuff you add, they can often be salt-spiked!
This protein-packed soup works well as a main meal serve in bowls with a side salad or a hunk of crusty bread.
I love the hard-boiled eggs as a garnish to this soup. Many versions don't contain this finishing touch, but I love it. If you are looking for information like calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, carbohydrates, calcium, fiber, etc, I don't have all of that, but this is generally regarded as a pretty holistic, healthy soup.
🥄 More Amish Soup Recipes
Mennonite Taco Soup - Good Stuff!
Amish Church Soup - Very traditional
Chicken Corn Chowder - Delicious summer soup!
Classic Amish Taco Soup - Delicous!
🙋 FAQ Chicken Corn Soup
Like may elements of Amish cooking, it was introduced to the community and they sort of adopted it as their own. While the recipe is purported to have Native American roots, the seasonal ingredients fit right into to Amish culture?
Yes, some versions have potatoes, some feature noodles, while other versions have dumplings.
Yes, but if you are using a version with noodles, make the freeze the soup and add noodles later when you are heating up the soup.
🖨️ Full Recipe
Amish Chicken Corn Soup
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces·
- 2-½ to 3 quarts water, or as needed
- 1 large onion
- 8 to 10 black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 10 ears of corn, (or 4 cups frozen corn kernels)
- 3 celery stalks, diced with leaves
- 6 ounces wide egg noodles (or use your own homemade equivalent)
- · Freshly ground white pepper·
- ⅔ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- · 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place chicken in soup pot with enough waterto cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and skim foam as it rises to thesurface.
- When it has subsided, add onion, peppercorns and salt. Simmer gentlybut steadily, partly covered, for about 1-½ hours or until tender.·
- Remove chicken. Trim and discard bones andskin, and onion. Let soup cool, then skim fat from surface. Tear meat intospoonable pieces and return to soup.
- · Cut kernels from 4 ears of corn, then grate kernels from remaining 6 ears. Add whole kernels and grated or pureed corn to soup along with celery and noodles.
- Simmer gently until corn and noodles are cooked. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Stir in parsley and serve, garnishing each portion with chopped egg.·