Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe – Robyn Lane
There are very few things in life better than a hearty bowl of chicken matzo ball soup. I grew up on it. I made my first pot of this glorious elixir at the age of 8. I learned from the best, my grandmothers, aunts, and my dear old mom were my teachers.
My first pot of chicken matzo ball soup was served on Passover. I remember my Great Grandmother Fannie, & my Great Aunt Sophie coming to our home that year for the family seder. I was eager to hear their reviews. My mother warned me not to tell them before dinner that I made the soup because if they didn’t like it, she was going to take the fall.
Mom had already told me the soup was delicious, so what was the problem?
For an 8-year-old kid who loved to cook, I was very confident that my soup was delicious.
Grandma and Aunt Sophie raved about how much flavor the soup had and how light and fluffy the matzo balls were.
I stood up and said, “I made the soup.” They were floored, and my mother was proud of me.
I am happy to share my recipe of what’s been referred to as, “Jewish Penicillin” for generations.
The cover photo of the bowl of magnificent chicken matzo soup is the creation of my dear friend Peri Appollo Schacknow
Chicken Soup Ingredients:
A 5 to 6-pound chicken, cut up
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large parsnips peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 carrots, peeled and chopped up into 1 to 2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
A handful of fresh dill chopped up
2 tablespoons onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup of either Vegeta All Purpose Seasoning or 2 individual small packages of chicken bouillon powder
6 quarts of water
2 – 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth – you may not need it. It’s added just in case your soup isn’t flavorful enough.
Matzo Ball Ingredients
2 cups matzo meal
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
8 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil or chicken fat (schmaltz)
3 tablespoons seltzer or club soda
A few fresh dill fronds chopped up small
4 quarts of water plus a 48 ounce can of College Inn Chicken Broth
Place chicken, onions, turnips, parsnips, carrots, & celery, in a large soup pot filled with 6 quarts of water
Add the dill, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Vegeta or bouillon and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone, and the broth is well seasoned. You’re looking at approximately 90 minutes.
Pull the chicken out of the pot and put it into a large bowl to cool off.
Some people like to strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, but I keep it as is.
Skim off any residual fat floating on top of the soup. You can make it the day before and refrigerate the soup. By then, the fat will be in solid form and easier to remove from the soup.
Remember to taste the broth! If it isn’t flavorful enough, add another packet of bouillon, and more onion powder. If need be, add some canned chicken broth to crank up the flavor.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the chicken off the bone and either shred it or cut it into small pieces and put it back into the soup. Toss the bones in the garbage.
Matzo Ball Preparation:
Mix the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a medium bowl.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs until they’re beaten together. Add the oil or chicken fat, seltzer, and dill to the eggs and mix.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Do not overmix or you will have tough matzo balls!
Cover the bowl of matzo ball batter with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the batter is in the refrigerator, add the 4 quarts of water, the large 48 ounce can of College Inn Chicken broth, and a palm full of kosher salt to a large pot under high heat and let the pot come to a boil.
You may need to coat your hands with a little bit of oil to roll the matzo balls, so they don’t stick to your hands.
Take a Tablespoon and scoop out enough matzo ball batter to form balls about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. These will be rather large in size after they are fully cooked.
Add the matzo balls carefully one at a time to the boiling liquid.
When all the matzo balls are in the pot, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot tightly and simmer for approximately 35 – 40 minutes.
When the matzo balls are done cooking, take a slotted spoon and add matzo balls to each individual bowl of soup when ready to serve.