Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup has been a favorite of ours ever since we moved to New York City in the late 80s.

I played around with many different techniques for creating the perfect Matzo Ball Soup recipe, and I think this version is pretty stellar.

Matzo Ball Soup recipe
Matzo Ball Soup recipe

Through lots of research and experimenting, I’ve learned that different folks have different likes when it comes to the density of their matzo balls.  I like them when they are firm, but still a little on the light side.  And I just love the addition of dill.

And of course, schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) adds a truly authentic flavor. I get my schmaltz from making chicken stock and then collecting the congealed fat that forms on the top after sitting in the fridge overnight.

Matzo Ball Soup recipe

Talk about a soup steeped in history and heritage.

This soup is such a wonderful celebration of Jewish culture and faith and is enjoyed by so many around the world, especially during Passover.

But, we love it all year round!!

Matzo Ball Soup recipe

Make the chicken broth by slowly simmering bone-in chicken parts, along with leeks, celery, ginger and a few herbs.

The combination of texture and flavor of this soup is just so heart-warming.

Just so delicious.

Matzo Ball Soup recipe

Now, make this amazingly authentic Matzo Ball Soup recipe!

You will be so happy that you did!

Matzo Ball Soup

This Matzo Ball Soup is so satisfying, so heart-warming, and just one of our all-time favorites. Homemade chicken broth with the wonderful tender matzo balls are a match made in Heaven. Easily make ahead of time. Just gets better with time!
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: comfort food, Matzo
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 325 kcal
Author: Adapted from Joan Nathan, The NYT Jewish Cookbook and other sources

Ingredients

FOR THE SOUP

  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 - 4 1/2 lb chicken parts skin on, bone-in (such as chicken breasts and thighs), or one whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces.
  • 2 leeks dark green leaves cut off and discarded, then halved and cut into thirds
  • 3 celery ribs cut into thirds
  • 5 carrots peeled and cut into thirds
  • 2 1- inch pieces of ginger ends cut off (does not need to be peeled)
  • 5 garlic cloves don't need to be peeled
  • 1 bouquet garni herbs tied up in small cheesecloth bouquet with a pinch of parsley leaves, celery leaves and chopped dill...or, instead, use 10 parsley stems and 10 dill stems
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • Dill sprigs for garnish

FOR THE MATZO BALLS

  • 1 1/4 cups matzo meal sometimes spelled matzoh*
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons schmaltz rendered chicken fat**
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth the liquid used to cook the chicken
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • *Found in the Jewish section of most supermarkets or at specialty markets (ie, Whole Foods), or Jewish Food Markets
  • **Schmaltz is chicken fat that has formed at the top of the chilled chicken broth. You can substitute vegetable or olive oil or use a combo of schmaltz and oil.

Instructions

START THE SOUP

  1. Thoroughly wash the leeks (open up the leaves and run water and shake vigorously to release dirt).
  2. Transfer to large stock pot.
  3. Add all the soup ingredients (except for the matzo ball ingredients) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, skimming foam every now and then from the surface, for 3 hours.
  5. Let cool slightly, then place in fridge for 2 hours or overnight (this makes skimming the schmaltz off the surface much easier).

MAKE THE MATZO BALLS

  1. In a medium bowl, beat eggs whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks just form. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the matzo meal, parsley, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Work schmaltz/oil into matzo mixture until incorporated (you can use your fingers to do this).
  4. Stir in the chicken broth (1/2 cup), and then eggs yolks.
  5. Now, stir in one third of the egg whites into mixture.
  6. Gently fold in the remaining whites until fully incorporated.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes, covered.

FINISH THE SOUP

  1. Transfer chicken from broth to cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces. Discard excess skin and bones.
  2. Remove carrots from broth and cut into bite-size pieces..
  3. Line a large sieve, or fine colander with cheesecloth (or double layer of damp paper towels) and pour the broth through the sieve/colander into another pot. Press the solids to release all the liquid. Discard the solids with the cheesecloth.
  4. Return the broth to a simmer.
  5. With dampened fingers, gently form chilled matzo mixture into 1-inch balls (they will expand as they cook), and gently drop them 1 at a time into the simmering broth. You'll have between 16 to 20 balls.
  6. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
  7. Stir in carrots and chicken pieces to warm through.
  8. Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with dill sprigs.

 

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