Monday, April 16, 2012

(Mostly) Scratch-Made Matzo Ball Soup

Ever since I was a little girl, my father has told me how wonderful his grandmother's chicken soup was. To him, nothing compares. Nothing. Unfortunately, there's no recipe that anyone knows of. She had everything in her head and the recipe seems to have died with her.

Because was the middle of Passover when I wrote this post, I decided to make matzo ball soup. {If you have never had mazto ball must have some. Even if you don't make it, you need to high tail it to the nearest New York style deli and have a bowl. Seriously, it is the stuff of dreams}. What better time to try and duplicate my great-grandmother's recipe?

The Shiksa provided this recipe, which I basically copied as a starting point. The result? It smells INCREDIBLE while cooking {I might have mentioned this on Twitter a dozen times. Or so.} and the flavor is OK. I believe that is due to my error. I had a HUGE pot and added a LOT of water. I don't believe I compensated enough.

That being said, it was still freakin' good, and the matzo balls were to-die-for. The secret? I used a mix, I boiled them in the stock, and I let them boil for an hour. That gives you a dense, sinker matzo ball {as opposed to a light, floater matzo ball}.

The whole dish was DELICIOUS. 


1 whole chicken (mine was about 3.5 pounds}
4 whole, peeled carrots cut into thirds
4 celery ribs, rinsed and cut into thirds {with leaves}
1 sweet onion cut into quarters {skin on}
5 springs of curly leafed parsley
1.5 tablespoons of dill {this is an estimate. I dumped into a WHOLE lotta dill}
6 whole cloves {remember, I had a BIG pot}
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 box of matzo ball mix {I used Maniscewitz}
4 eggs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil


Rinse chicken and place in large pot {tall stock pot works best}
Cover with water and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
As you boil, foamy schmaltz will float to the top of the water. Skim it and reserve it for the matzo balls.
Once you've skimmed the fat add vegetables and spices except the garlic, and reduce to medium heat.

Cover and let simmer for around 2 hours.
Turn off the stock and let it sit while you make the matzo balls.
Make them according to package directions, making sure to stir in the schmaltz {I subbed the schmaltz for one teaspoon of the oil}. Also, remember that they get WAY BIGGER in the broth.
Refrigerate mixture while you strain the soup.
To strain, I placed a colander over a second stock pot and poured the soup through.
These are the dregs from straining the pot

 Pull out the chicken and shred, and the vegetables and chop. Return to the broth.

Bring the broth back up to a simmer and add the garlic.
Add the matzo balls and let simmer for approximately an hour {the box will say 20 minutes. Don't listen}.

Serve the soup with matzo balls, shredded chicken, and veggies.

Enjoy the yumminess!


  1. oh my gooooosh! That looks amazing! I love matzo ball soup!

  2. That looks fantastic!