Bea Tollman's Chicken Soup

A classic traditional soup, with a family history...  

“I learned this recipe from my grandmother, and that the secret to great chicken soup is to use all the bones (and a few feet too), and let it cook slowly over a long period of time. Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.” 
–Bea Tollman,
Celebrity Chef & Founder of Red Carnation Hotels

Beatrice Tollman, President, and founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection published a cookbook that is her memoir of “A Life in Food”. Her book is a celebration of recipes that have either been passed down in the family or discovered while traveling, and all have been perfected from her own personal experience and expertise in the kitchen. For the enthusiastic amateur cook, the recipes are relatively quick and simple to prepare with ingredients that are easily sourced.


6 2/3 lbs (3 kg) chicken, halved and quartered with neck, gizzards, and feet if possible
4 large carrots, whole
4 stalks celery
2 medium onions, whole
4 large whole leeks, cut in half
3 bay leaves
8 peppercorns
6 parsley sprigs
2–3 organic chicken bouillon cubes (in lieu of any salt)
3 1/2 oz (100 g) fine noodles, cooked separately

Prep Time: 15-20m


Put the chicken pieces, carrots, celery, onions, leeks, bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley in a large saucepan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and add two chicken bouillon cubes.
Skim, and then simmer for about 6 hours.
Strain the soup into a clean pan.
Dice a handful of carrots and chicken meat from the soup and set aside.
Bring the soup back to a boil and adjust the seasoning for saltiness. If required, add another bouillon cube.
Add a few cooked noodles with a little of the diced chicken and carrots previously set aside to each bowl of soup.
Serves 8

Cook Time: 6hr 30m

Beatrice Tollman, or Bea as she is widely known, is the founder and president of Red Carnation Hotels, which has 17 four- and five-star properties in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the States.  Red Carnation, Grand European, Trafalgar, and Insight Vacations are just a few of the over 30 brands that make up the Travel Corporation (TTC).

Tollman, a self-taught chef, is deeply involved in the companies she runs. “The idea was that I would help my husband out at the beginning before going on to teach, but I ended up staying in the kitchen for 15 years.” An excellent cook, she has published five editions of her cookbook, “A Life in Food,” with many of the dishes appearing on her hotels’ menus, and on Uniworld’s as well.