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Matzo Ball Soup

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling Cook: 1-3/4 hours

Makes

12 servings

This traditional matzo ball soup recipe is worth the extra effort. If you prefer, you can add egg noodles instead of matzo balls. —Julia Sherman, New Market, Tennessee
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 6 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • MATZO BALLS:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 package (5 ounces) matzo ball mix
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a large soup kettle; add the broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 55-65 minutes or until meat is tender, skimming the surface as foam rises.
  2. Remove chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain broth and skim fat. Return broth to the kettle; add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and remaining salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk eggs and oil. Add matzo ball mix and onion; toss with a fork until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken; chop chicken and add to soup. Stir in parsley. Bring to a boil. Drop 12 rounded teaspoonfuls of matzo ball dough into boiling soup. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a matzo ball comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering).
  5. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove matzo balls and place one in each soup bowl. Ladle soup over top.

Matzo Ball Soup Tips

What does matzo ball soup taste like?

Being a true comfort food, matzo ball soup tastes a lot like chicken noodle or chicken dumpling soup. In fact, chicken soup is also affectionately known as Jewish Penicillin for its reputed ability to help you fight off a cold. It’s one of the Jewish foods everyone should learn to cook.

How long can matzo balls sit in soup?

To keep matzo balls from falling apart, store them separately in a covered container rather than in the soup. Reheat them in the hot broth to serve. You can refrigerate matzo ball soup for up to 5 days, or freeze it. Many cooks freeze the matzo balls right in the soup. Others cook a large batch of matzo balls and freeze them separately for easy meal prep.

Can you overcook matzo balls?

Matzo balls usually cook in about 20 minutes. If you cook them longer, the balls will become denser. It’s a matter of preference—some people like heavy and dense matzo balls, known as "sinkers." Other people prefer light and fluffy "floaters," which are sometimes leavened with baking powder or stiffly beaten egg whites.
Mixing also plays a role in matzo ball consistency, just like with dumplings or quick bread. To make light, floating matzo balls, use a gentle touch and avoid overhanding the dough. If you crave dense sinkers, mix the dough more thoroughly.

How can I make matzo ball soup with schmaltz?

Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat, a product of times when home cooks were frugal and let very little go to waste. You can substitute an equal amount of schmaltz for the cooking oil in your matzo ball recipe.

Research contributed by Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 160 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 509mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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