German Chicken and Rice Soup

A photo of my great grandmother, Marie
A photo of my great grandmother, Marie

Growing up, my mom used to always make her “famous” chicken and rice soup. Her German chicken and rice soup is made with chicken breast, celery, carrots, herbs, rice, and broth and it all cooks it in a sauce pot for around an hour. Whenever she makes it, it fills the house with its rich smell and it would make me so excited to come home and have one bowl... Or two or three after school or after practice. It used to remind me of snow days, holidays (especially Christmas), and sick days, staying home and being around family. My mom learned the recipe from her grandma, Marie Kuntz, whose parents moved to America from Northern Germany in the late 1920s. Marie was arranged to be married to a German man that also lived in America. She was a tough and brave woman and had taught my grandmother, Elsie Volpe, to be the same way. My grandmother used to make this dish for my mom and her three siblings to bring them together as a family after long days of work. They had homemade dinner together every single night as a family and my mom carried on the tradition for most of my childhood. Whenever my mom or my grandma make the soup, it comes from their hearts and the smell of the soup reminds me of the comforts of home and fills me with warmth and happiness. Every year on Christmas Eve, my family used to sit by the Christmas tree and listen to Silent Night, but in German. This with the added smells of the chicken and rice soup, made me feel at home and made me feel the love from my family.

Place(s): Northern Germany, New York
Year: 1920

– Jennifer Breneisen

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more