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Matzo Ball Soup

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

AKA - Jewish Penicillin. For holidays and times of illness alike, nothing is as warming and comforting as a large bowl of matzo ball soup. This is one of the few foods that must be made and enjoyed at home (versus at a restaurant), and it always tastes its best the day after cooking it.

Classic Matzo Ball Soup


For the Soup

  • 3- 4 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered

  • 2 turnips, peeled and quartered (optional)

  • 1 parsnip

  • 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 4 celery stalks with greens, roughly chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • About 10 fresh dill sprigs

  • Salt

  • Pepper

For the Matzo Balls

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup matzo meal

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp soup stock (or water)

For Serving

  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

  • ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley or dill


For the Soup:

  1. Place the chicken, onions, turnips parsnip, carrots and celery in a large 12-quart stock pot.

  2. Add about 6 quarts of water to fill the pot, and bring to boil. Let the soup boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, skimming off any froth or scum as it forms.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the bay leaves, dill, salt and pepper.

  4. Cover and simmer 3½ hours more.

  5. Let the soup cool on the stovetop until the pot is no longer hot. Strain out the vegetables and chicken using a mesh strainer or a small colander, to get a clear broth.

  6. Remove the chicken from the bones, and store in a container.

  7. Discard the vegetables

  8. Put the cooled soup in the refrigerator and store over night.

For the Matzo Balls:

  1. Blend vegetable oil, eggs, matzo meal and salt together

  2. Add soup stock or water and mix until uniform. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

  3. Bring 1 1/2 quart water to a brisk boil

  4. Remove mix from fridge, and roll matzo balls lightly (about 1 inch in diameter)

  5. Reduce flame and drop matzo balls into the water and cook at a low simmer for 30-40 minutes

  6. Note- you can cook the matzo balls directly in the soup, but they will absorb a ton of soup.

To serve:

  1. Remove the soup from the fridge, and bring to a simmer.

  2. Add any seasoning (ie. salt and pepper) if needed

  3. Peel and slice carrots, and add to the pot

  4. Add the cooked chicken to the pot as well if desired

  5. Add the cooked matzo balls to the pot as well, and simmer until the carrots are tender and the matzo balls are hot throughout- about 20 to 30 minutes. The matzo balls should float on the top of the soup

  6. Top with fresh dill, and serve!

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