Jewish Penicillin made in a pinch!

Growing up whenever I was sick or felt like I was coming down with something my mother would always put up a fresh pot of chicken soup to remedy whatever was ailing me. She did that because that is what her Hungarian mother did as well because chicken soup as the saying goes was “Jewish penicillin.” To this day my mother is still making chicken soup on a weekly basis and freezing it for “under the weather days.” As a pharmacist, I have always been a skeptic of “Jewish penicillin.” Some books and websites make all sorts of claims of its immune boosting effects even calling it liquid gold but could it be that it is just the warmth of a hot liquid that helps soothe a sore throat? Or that your sinuses feel a little more clear because of the steam coming from your steamy bowl or mug? Whichever the case, chicken soup, and bone broth are still staples in my freezer and on a cold morning it’s a nice addition to my breakfast in addition to a hot cup of coffee. Unlike my mother who lets her soups simmer all day, I take advantage of my beloved Instant Pot and make my chicken soup in 45 minutes and my bone broth in 90 minutes. Every Sunday morning I make a fresh batch and freeze it in various containers so that I can use it as a base for whatever I am cooking that week.

Here is my recipe for Instant Pot Bone Broth otherwise known as Jewish Penicillin.

What you will need:

  • Instant Pot
  • A package of chicken or turkey bones
  • 4-5 medium carrots
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 stalks of celery
  • 4-5 parsnips
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheesecloth (optional)


  1. Chop up all your veggies coarsely (no need to look pretty because it will be strained out in the end)
  2. Place the bones at the bottom of the pot and pour the apple cider vinegar on it.
  3. Add your veggies to the pot.
  4. Fill the pot with water until the 2/3 max mark inside the pot.
  5. Close the lid making sure it is sealed properly and turn the sealing knob to the “seal position.”
  6. Select the “soup” button and set the timer to 90 min. Since it is a significant volume, it will take approximately 25 min for the IP to come to pressure.
  7. After the timer goes off allow the pot to release the pressure naturally
  8. Once the pressure has been released turn the instant pot off and allow it to cool (you can make an ice bath in your sink to expedite the process).
  9. When your broth is cool you can use a cheesecloth or something similar to strain out the bones and veggies from the broth.

If you do not have an instant pot, you can use the same ingredients and make this in a slow cooker by cooking between 12 and 24 hours on low.

Recommended items for my Instant Pot bone broth:



2 thoughts on “Jewish Penicillin made in a pinch!

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