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Matzoh Ball Soup recipe

Matzoh Ball Soup recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken soup
  • Chicken vegetable soup

This Passover tradition is one of my favourite soups, good year round. Some people say that the matzoh balls make the broth a bit cloudy.

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 onions, roughly diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chicken crackling (gribenes), finely minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil (see footnote)
  • 50g (2 oz) matzoh meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons chicken stock
  • handful chopped fresh dill

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:3hr20min ›Ready in:3hr50min

  1. Trim off neck flap all the way up to the top of the chicken's wishbone. Trim fat and skin from around the back cavity of the chicken. Reserve both for schmaltz and gribenes. Cut chicken into quarters. Place chicken in large pot with onions, and cover with about 4 litres water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
  2. Add carrots and celery to the pot; simmer an additional hour. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Remove chicken pieces and set aside. You may reserve them for another use or shred the meat for the soup. Keep the chicken covered at room temperature before shredding.
  4. Dice reserved skin and fat into 2.5cm (1 in) pieces. Cook in a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat, turning occasionally. Make sure the pan never gets so hot as to cause the rendered fat to smoke. When the gribenes are crisp and brown, remove them to a cutting board and drain schmaltz into a small non-plastic bowl to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, mince the gribenes finely.
  5. To make the matzoh balls, blend schmaltz or oil and eggs together. Mix together matzo meal and salt. Combine the two mixtures, and mix well. Add 4 tablespoons stock or water; mix until uniform. Stir in minced gribenes. Cover bowl, and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  6. Bring soup to the boil. Meanwhile, roll matzoh mixture into 2.5cm balls. Reduce heat, and drop balls into soup. Add dill. Cover pot, and cook 30 to 40 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE THE COVER FROM THE POT WHLE COOKING!


Gribenes and schmaltz are both used often in Jewish cuisine. Gribenes refer to the chicken crackling, while schmaltz is rendered chicken or goose fat. If you don't want to use the schmaltz to make the matzoh balls, simply use vegetable oil.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(20)

Reviews in English (22)

by camelsram

Took shortcuts.Original review 7/9: This is basically a good recipe, Holly. But grebenes and schmaltz? Why would anyone want to make life so difficult? For the Matzoh Balls, I just use a mix. They come out perfect every time. Follow the package instructions, cook separately and add to the soup at the end. As to the soup, I did add the chicken back to mine. I added twice as many carrots, and 3 stalks of celery. I added the whole onions at this point, and removed before serving. Cut the amount of dill by half, added salt, garlic, turmeric, a bay leaf and dried parsley. Otherwise, and without the extras, it would have been a very bland soup. Thank you.-24 Jul 2008

by toni

Used different ingredients.I skip the grebenes and use either pareve margarine or home-made schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). I use parsnips, carrots, celery and onion when making the chicken soup but they're drained out for the finished stock. The finished product is just clear chicken stock, matzoh balls and finely chopped parsley sprinkled on top just before serving. I'm headed for the kitchen to make some soup....-24 Jul 2008


Altered ingredient amounts.This was very good. I actually made this just with 4 chicken breasts rather than a whole chicken and it turned out quite good. My guests all enjoyed it also.-24 Jul 2008

Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Make the matzo balls: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add matzo meal and seltzer mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make the soup: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, sweet potato, parsnips, ginger, and garlic cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add water or broth, bay leaves, and thyme reduce heat and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Do not let liquid come to a boil. Remove from heat strain and discard solids. Add dill and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

Moisten hands with water and, using your hands, form matzo batter into about 1 1/2-inch balls. At this point, matzo balls can be transferred to freezer until frozen and then transferred to airtight containers and kept frozen for up to 1 month. Frozen matzo balls can be added directly to boiling water.

Place matzo balls in boiling water cover and cook until light and fluffy, about 20 minutes. Carefully transfer matzo balls to warm soup serve immediately.

Passover Matzoh-Ball Soup

Andrew Zimmern&rsquos Kitchen AdventuresFor 40 years I looked high and low for the best matzoh ball recipe, but nothing measured up to my grandmother&rsquos until I discovered Susan&rsquos, an old family friend. After a Passover seder at her house 20 years ago, I begged for this recipe and finally she gave it to me. It&rsquos the perfect balance for a matzoh ball: light enough to float, dense enough to be a good &ldquosinker.&rdquo I can now die in peace knowing I have achieved what every Jewish man should for his family: a roof over their heads and a nice chicken-soup-and-matzoh-ball recipe. We eat this meal year-round, and we call it chicken-in-the-pot. When I make it as a main course, I serve the chicken in sixths with the skin and bone. I will often add kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) or noodles and leave the vegetables in bigger pieces so the dish is more like a poulet pot au feu than a first course for Passover seder. For the uninformed, the seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is held at sundown on the 14th day of Nissan in the Hebrew calendar and on the 15th by observant Jews living outside Israel. That means late March or April for most of us. The meal involves a retelling of the liberation of the Israelites from their bondage in ancient Egypt. It&rsquos basically Thanksgiving for Jews, and it&rsquos my favorite holiday of the year.&mdashAndrew Zimmern More Passover Recipes Fish Dishes for Passover

Matzo Ball Soup With Celery and Dill

Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski.

Greater than the sum of its parts, matzo ball soup is a wonderful combination of three very simple things: chicken broth (golden brown, deeply savory, lightly seasoned), matzo balls (tender, eggy, schmaltzy dumplings made with ground matzo) and garnish (celery and fresh dill, lots of it). The key to keeping the chicken juicy, tender and something you’re excited to eat is by gently simmering the stock (which will also keep the broth crystal clear rather than muddied). You can pick the meat from the chicken and add it back to the soup if you like, or save for next-day chicken salad. For the matzo balls, matzo meal is preferred for its fine texture, but know that you can also grind your own from matzo boards in a food processor.

Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

The time has finally come – I am so excited to share my Aunt Patsy’s famous matzo ball soup recipe! You may remember Aunt P from her banana bread fame but she also happens to make the best matzo ball soup I’ve ever eaten.

In addition to being an incredible cook, she is also well known as the Baby Whisperer. She has an uncanny ability to make any fussy boy calm down and fall asleep immediately. Having raised three boys of her own, I am always trying to take notes from her!

This year we celebrated Passover at my mother’s house and we were blessed with a beautiful spring day full of sunshine and birds chirping. A major improvement from last year’s snowy holiday.

We each took turns reading the Passover service including Aunt Paula (left) and Aunt Patsy (right) but in the back of our heads, we were all just waiting for one thing and one thing only….

Matzo ball soup…the pièce de résistance. Light, fluffy matzo balls floating in rich, velvety, almost silky chicken stock. There’s a reason they call it Jewish penicillin. This soup cures all.

Whether you’re celebrating Passover or simply can’t resist a comforting bowl of matzo ball soup, I urge you to try my Aunt Patsy’s recipe. You will not be disappointed.

How to Make Bubby’s Homemade Matzo Ball Soup


Homemade Chicken Soup

1 whole raw chicken (or 2-3 chicken breasts on the bone)
3 or 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 or 4 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bag of frozen corn (optional)
handful of fresh dill, torn from the stems
handful of fresh parsley, torn from the stems
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
water to cover, about 4 quarts
chicken bouillon (optional)

Matzoh Balls

1 cup matzo meal
4 large eggs, stirred in a bowl
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons oil or 4 tablespoons melted schmaltz (i.e., reserved chicken fat) – I use vegetable oil or sunflower oil
1-2 teaspoons baking powder* (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1-2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh dill (optional)


To Make the Chicken Soup:

Put the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, sweet potato, and small handfuls of dill leaves and parsley leaves in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring all ingredients to a boil in an 8- to 10-quart heavy pot. Reduce to low heat to simmer and skim any fat floating at the top and discard that fat. (It will be foamy.)

Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat falls off of the bones, about 3 hours.

Skim any fat floating at the top of the soup and discard. Take the chicken out of the pot, careful to get all of the bones. Pick the chicken meat off of the bones and return the chicken, without the bones, to the pot.

Season the broth with salt, pepper and chicken bouillon to taste, if desired.

Make the matzoh balls. (SEE BELOW.)

Add the frozen corn (optional), stir together, and allow to simmer until the corn is cooked through.

To Make the Matzo Balls:

Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. (I omit the baking powder because I like my matzoh balls a little bit more dense on the inside, perfectly fluffy and soup-soaked on the outside.)

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a large pot. (Separate from the soup.)

Reduce the flame to low heat. Run your hands under cold water so they are nice and wet. (This is my mom’s trick to keep your matzo balls from sticking to your hands as you form them.) Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 2-inches in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. (You can splash your hands with more cool water from the sink every few minutes if the matzo ball batter is starting to stick to your hands more.) Cover the pot and cook them on low for 30 to 40 minutes. (If you cook for an additional 10-20 minutes you will get lighter, less firm matzo balls. I just feel like the 30-40 minute cook time produces the perfect matzo ball!)

About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, if you’ve already turned off your cooking chicken stock, bring prepared chicken stock to a simmer to warm it back up.

To make a bowl of matzoh ball soup to, ladle one or two matzoh balls, strained, in the bowl. Top with soup and vegetables. Garnish with parsley and dill and serve.

NOTE: To store leftover matzo ball soup, store the remaining strained matzo balls in a separate container from the leftover soup. (You can even freeze cooked matzo balls in a ziplock bag or airtight container and re-heat them in the soup when you’re ready to eat your matzo ball soup!)

*A Note on Fluffy Matzo Balls: Everyone likes their matzo balls a certain way – some are team fluffy all the way, others like their matzo balls dense with a little bit of chew. Adding baking soda (or a tablespoon or two of seltzer) will make your matzo balls super light and fluffy. (You can also cook the matzo balls – minus the baking powder – for an additional 10-20 minutes for lighter matzo balls as well.) Omitting the baking soda, and following this recipe otherwise, will make a perfect in-between matzo ball: light and fluffy on the outside, a little bit dense on the inside. Basically, the perfect happy matzo ball medium – and my favorite way to eat them!

I also love a generous pinch of fresh chopped dill in my matzo balls, but with two little kids at home, any time I do that I get a whole lot of, “Mommmmm! What’s this green stuff in my matzo balls?!” To avoid their utter shock and dismay over the “green stuff” I sometimes just skip that addition. And of course, that’s the beauty of matzo balls – you can tweak them to make them YOUR family’s favorite matzo balls!

Scroll on down for the printable recipe for Bubby’s matzo ball soup!


For the matzo balls:

In a medium sized bowl gently beat the eggs. Add matzo meal and oil, salt and parsley and stir with a fork until mixed, being careful not to over-mix.

Put the matzo mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Bring the water to a boil.

Grease your hands lightly with oil and gently form balls about the size of a walnut out of the chilled matzo mixture. Do not over handle.

Gently drop the balls into the boiling water. Cover and boil for 30 minutes.

Test one and make sure they are fluffy, if not let boil an additional 5 or 10 minutes.

Remove from the water and put back into the refrigerator until you are ready to add them to your soup.

For the soup:

Add all ingredients except dill to a large stock pot and bring to a rolling boil on a medium flame. Reduce flame and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Transfer one breast and one thigh and half of the carrots to a plate and let cool. Remove the meat from the bone and refrigerate with the carrots.

Continue to simmer your soup for 2 hours, skimming fat off surface periodically.

Strain into a large saucepan, discarding all solids.

Bring remaining stock back to a boil and add your matzo balls, carrots and chicken meat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 4-5 matzo balls and a few carrots into each bowl and spoon soup over. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh dill.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons schmaltz
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Cooking spray, for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric

In a medium bowl, mix the matzo meal with the baking powder and the salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with 3 tablespoons of the schmaltz. Gently mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a 1 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop, portion into rough balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of schmaltz. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions and celery and until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep warm.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Using greased hands, roll the chilled matzo into even balls and drop into the boiling water. Cover and boil until cooked through, about 30 minutes (you might have to cut into one ball to check). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a plate.

Remove the broth from the heat and whisk in the fenugreek and turmeric season with salt. Divide the matzo balls between shallow bowls (about 2 per person) and ladle the soup over the top serve.

Jake Cohen's Roasted Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Is Perfect for Passover

Welcome to The Pioneer Woman Cookbook Club! This month, we're featuring Jake Cohen, chef, food writer, and cookbook author of Jew-Ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch. Read on to find out about Jake's Shabbat tradition and how to make his recipe for hearty roasted chicken matzo ball soup!

Growing up, chef and food writer Jake Cohen describes his Jewish identity as a &ldquohigh holiday Jew,&rdquo who came out of the &ldquosecular woodwork around Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.&rdquo Now, however, he&rsquos written the cookbook Jew-Ish, celebrating Jewish food through family recipes and modern takes alike.

Years ago when he and his husband Alex (who's also Jewish), decided to explore their Jewish identities more, food ultimately became the way in. Each Friday, they began hosting Shabbat&mdashwhich Jake refers to as the &ldquoOG dinner party&rdquo in his book&mdashfor friends to gather, express gratitude, and explore their own Jewish identities. It was also a way for Jake to create dishes he hadn't tried before, including foods his husband grew up enjoying.

&ldquoOur definitions of Jewish food were completely different,&rdquo he explains. &ldquoI'm Ashkenazi, he&rsquos Iraqi Persian. All of the rituals are the same: Shabbat, Passover, Rosh Hashanah. But the foods are completely different. [Shabbat] was such an incredible opportunity for us to begin to explore each other's cultures, traditions, and blended families.&rdquo

Through hosting Shabbat, they also explored the true meaning behind the tradition, outside of only knowing the prayers. He discovered that the rituals involved&mdashthe candles, wine, and challah&mdashinvite reflection, create a space for gratitude, and help you grow closer through the literal breaking of bread. He was able to build a sustainable practice that coincided with his life in an organic way.

&ldquoIt was just incredible to see other people have the same kind of reaction of excitement towards Jewish food and Jewish ritual when made accessible to them in a way that works for their lives,&rdquo he says.

In addition to hosting Shabbat, he also throws a special Seder for his friends and chosen family every year during Passover. It was at this meal that he made matzo ball soup for the first time, marking the start of his journey to creating the perfect matzo ball and establishing the ideal ratio of soup ingredients. &ldquoThere&rsquos nothing I hate more than when you get matzo ball soup and it&rsquos just broth and a ball,&rdquo he says. In his recipe, you&rsquoll find it loaded with chunks of chicken, vegetables, and plenty of herbs.

While his matzo ball soup is perfect for Passover, Jake has also curated a delicious Seder plate in his cookbook, including bites like Smoky Deviled Eggs and Pomegranate-BBQ Chicken Wings.

&ldquoJewish food is this ever-evolving thing that lives and breathes and follows the Jews where they go,&rdquo he says. He explains how when his husband&rsquos family were moved from Iraq to Iran, they began making Iraqi food with Persian ingredients and vice versa. He&rsquos adopting a similar approach as he mixes and matches recipes from his culture as well as his husband&rsquos. &ldquoI'm continuing on that tradition, just now with blending Ashkenazi food with [Alex&rsquos] food. And I think there's something really beautiful about that.&rdquo

Whether you&rsquore looking for Passover recipes or just want to enjoy a cozy meal, try this matzo ball soup recipe that'll hit the spot every time.

Make the schmaltz and the broth

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
  • Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in an ovenproof 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast, flipping once, until the fat from the wings has rendered (this is schmaltz) and the wings are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  • Pour the schmaltz into a small bowl to cool you should have about 2 Tbs.
  • Cover the wings with 3 inches of cool water (about 1 gallon). Bring to a simmer over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to low, and cook uncovered, for at least 4 and up to 6 hours. The ideal temperature for cooking the broth is 185°F, which means the water is very hot and giving off steam, but not bubbling.
  • Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 1 tsp. salt, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook the same way—hot but not bubbling—for 1 to 1-1/2 hours more.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, and then strain it again through a damp, clean, fabric-softener-free cloth or heavy-duty paper towels into another bowl. You should have about 8 cups of broth if you have less, add water to make 8 cups.
  • Skim any fat that rises to the top of the broth, transfer it to the bowl of schmaltz, and refrigerate until solidified, about 20 minutes.

Make the matzo balls

  • Combine the matzo meal, eggs, 2 Tbs. of the schmaltz, 2 Tbs. of the broth, the baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl, gently stirring until thickened, about 1 minute. The mixture should be a sticky paste that holds together but is not heavy or dense if you need to add more broth to achieve this consistency, add 1 Tbs. at a time, up to 1/4 cup more total. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Using wet hands, very gently form rounded tablespoonfuls of the matzo mixture into 12 1-inch balls, transferring them to a plate. Do not overwork or compress the mixture, or the matzo balls will be dense.

Make the soup

  • Heat 2 Tbs. schmaltz (or, if you don’t have enough schmaltz, add vegetable oil to make 2 Tbs. of fat) in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and browned at the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.
  • With wet hands, add the matzo balls to the soup and return it to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the matzo balls are cooked through and doubled in size, about 30 minutes (no need to turn them). You can cut a matzo ball open to check for doneness—the color should be light throughout, with no raw-looking dough in the center—or you can insert a toothpick into the center if it slides in and out without resistance, they’re done. Serve the soup garnished with the parsley.

Make Ahead Tips

The rendered schmaltz can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 months.

If making the broth ahead, cool the skimmed broth to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

The batter for the matzo balls can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.

To make these matzo balls kosher for Passover, omit the baking powder and substitute 2 Tbs. seltzer water for the 2 Tbs. of broth, adding more seltzer as needed to adjust the consistency. This will keep the texture light and fluffy without using chemical leaveners.