what is matzo ball soup

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

5/5 (1)
1 hour
Vadim Rachok
19.12.2023
31.03.2024
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10 / 10
Health score
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If you enjoy exploring new cultures through food, you might want to learn how to make Matzo Ball Soup. This delicious recipe is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish that features chicken and dumplings. Although it’s especially popular during Passover, you can enjoy it anytime, regardless of your religious background.

Matzo Ball Soup, a cherished dish that transcends cultural boundaries and invites everyone to savor the warmth and comfort nestled within each spoonful. It's a beautiful representation of culinary heritage, showcasing the resilience and stories passed down through generations. I vividly remember the first time I encountered Matzo Ball Soup – a taste that resonates with both simplicity and depth. The matzo balls, whether enriched with schmaltz or crafted with vegetable oil, are a triumph of texture and flavor. The choice to include chicken or opt for a vegetarian version adds a layer of versatility to this iconic soup, making it accessible to a wide range of preferences.

Matzo Ball Soup is a traditional Jewish recipe, particularly popular during Passover. This soup is served with dumplings that are made from Matzo meal, which is the ground crumbs of unleavened Matzo bread. The dumplings, known as Matzo balls, are a direct reminder of the hardships that the Jewish people faced in the past, including the time when they survived on unleavened bread during their exodus from Egypt.

Chicken is a popular ingredient when making soup, but it’s not mandatory. For the best Matzo balls, it’s recommended to use schmaltz, which is rendered chicken fat. For maximum flavor, it’s suggested to cook the chicken in the soup, but if you have leftover cooked chicken, you can use that instead. When making the Matzo balls, it’s better to boil them separately in water instead of cooking them in the soup broth. This way, you won’t lose all your soup broth to the Matzo balls.

I am not Jewish, but Matzo Ball Soup was the first Jewish dish I tasted (unless you count bagels), and I immediately fell in love with it. The Matzo balls are incredibly flavorful and tender, making it almost impossible to stop eating them. This is true whether you use schmaltz or plain vegetable oil and whether or not chicken is added to the soup. They are simply delicious!

soup with matzo balls

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken thighs: Chicken thighs provide a rich and savory flavor to the soup base, contributing to its depth and richness.
  • Carrot, Onion, Celery, Garlic: These vegetables add aromatic and savory notes to the soup, enhancing its overall flavor profile.
  • Chicken broth: It is the base of the soup, the chicken broth, adds a savory and comforting flavor to the dish.
  • Egg (yolk): The egg yolk helps bind the matzo ball mixture together, ensuring the matzo balls have the right consistency and texture.
  • Olive oil: It adds richness and a subtle fruity flavor to the matzo balls.
  • Flour: Flour helps give the matzo balls structure and helps them hold their shape during cooking.
  • Parsley: It adds freshness and a pop of color to the soup, as well as a hint of herbal flavor.

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Matzo Ball Soup recipe step by step 1-4

Matzo Ball Soup recipe step by step 5-8

  1. To prepare the matzo dough: mix the egg yolks, flour, and olive oil, add a little salt, and mix well. Then, sprinkle flour on your hands and form 0,5-0,7 ounce (15-20) balls of dough. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Place a saucepan of broth on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the chicken thighs and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Next, cut the carrots and the onions into thin strips and slice the celery.
  4. Then, cut the parsley into strips.
  5. After 25 minutes of cooking, add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Then, add the matzo balls, cook for another 5 minutes, and add salt.
  7. Add the parsley. Remove the chicken thighs from the soup and tear them into fibers.
  8. Pour the soup into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil. Enjoy!

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • You can add half a star anise to the soup. This will give the soup an interesting flavor and aroma.
  • For a richer flavor, you can add 1 ounce (30 g) of soy sauce.
  • I recommend eating the soup with whole wheat bread.

matzo ball soup recipe

Notes

  1. Chicken fat: Matzo balls are traditionally made using rendered chicken fat.
  2. Matzo meal: Matzo, also known as matzoh or matzah, is a type of unleavened Jewish bread that is made using only flour and water. The crumbs obtained by grinding this bread are known as matzo meal, and they are commonly used to make dumplings. Manischewitz is a well-known brand of matzo, which can be found in grocery stores across the country.
  3. Yield: This recipe yields 10 cups of Matzo Ball Soup, enough for 4 servings of 2 ½ cups each.
  4. Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup: Instead of using schmaltz, use vegetable or olive oil. Replace chicken with vegetable broth.

soup matzo ball

Storage and Making Ahead

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. If desired, store the matzo balls separately from the soup.

Make ahead: Uncooked matzo balls can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days, and cooked matzo balls can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.

Freezer: Place both the soup and meatballs in freezer-safe zip-top bags and freeze for up to three months. Reheat to 165 degrees using a digital thermometer.

An excellent and healthy soup suitable for both lunch and dinner. It provides a full serving of protein and complex carbohydrates in one portion. Like any other low-fat broth-based soups, this dish is perfect for those looking to lose weight as it fills the stomach and provides a sense of fullness without overloading the body with excess calories. Additionally, due to the variety of vegetables in the recipe, this soup is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, I highly recommend it to anyone following a healthy diet.

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
10 / 10
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
5/5 (1)
Author:Vadim Rachok
This recipe for matzo ball soup has become our family's most beloved part of the meal. The recipe can be adjusted to serve any number of people, depending on the size of the bowl used. However, it is important not to add too much matzo meal to the mixture, as this can prevent the matzo balls from floating to the top of the boiling water.
what is matzo ball soup
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
Servings:
4
The ingredients you need:
2 pcs chicken thighs without bone
1 pc carrot
2 pcs onions
2 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
34 fluid ounces (1 liter) chicken broth
1 pc egg (yolk)
0,8 ounces (5 g) olive oil
2 ounces (60 g) flour
1 bunch parsley
salt
oil for frying
Let’s start !
1

Prepare the matzo dough: mix the egg yolks, flour, and olive oil, add a little salt, and mix well. Sprinkle flour on your hands and form 0,5-0,7 ounce (15-20) balls of dough. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

2

Place a saucepan of broth on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the chicken thighs and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes.

3

Cut the carrots and the onions into thin strips. Slice the celery.

4

Cut the parsley into strips.

5

After 25 minutes of cooking, add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for another 10 minutes. 

6

Add the matzo balls, cook for another 5 minutes, and add salt.

7

Add the parsley. Remove the chicken thighs from the soup and tear them into fibers.

8

Pour the soup into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4 Calories: 1550
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g18%
Saturated Fat 7g36%
Cholesterol 136mg45%
Sodium 965mg42%
Total Carbohydrate 64g23%
Dietary Fiber 1g3%
Total Sugars 4g 
Protein 17g 
Vitamin C 3mg16%
Calcium 36mg3%
Iron 5mg26%
Potassium 404mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

When crafting your Matzo balls, pay attention to the consistency of the mixture. A delicate balance ensures that your dumplings achieve that perfect fluffiness. For an extra touch, refrigerate the mixture before forming the balls. This brief chill allows the matzo meal to absorb moisture, resulting in light and tender dumplings. Matzo Ball Soup is more than a dish; it's a story shared around tables, a reminder of traditions that withstand time. Whether enjoyed during Passover or as a soul-warming meal any day, this soup invites us to appreciate the rich tapestry of culinary diversity. So, embark on this culinary journey, embrace the stories woven into each ingredient, and let the aroma of Matzo Ball Soup fill your kitchen with the essence of shared history and communal joy.

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
Pro tip from chef
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