Jewish Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

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Joan Nathans Chicken Matzo Ball Stew

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls (Jewish) recipe

Makes: 6 servings

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus 3 hours cooling


  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced in chunks
  • 1 turnip or parsnip, scrubbed, halved if large, and cut in thick slices
  • Salt
  • 1 cut-up chicken with bones
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in thick rounds
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or dill, for serving
  • For the Matzo Balls:
  • 2 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, dill or cilantro
  • Coarse kosher salt and black pepper


1. Start the stew: Set a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and then the onion, celery and turnip, and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cover with 5 cups of water, or enough to almost cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer for about 30 minutes, skimming any scum that rises. Cool, cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but ideally overnight. Scrape off and reserve 2 tablespoons chicken fat from the surface of the soup for the matzo ball mix. Freeze any remaining fat for another use.

4. Add heavy spoonfuls of the matzo ball mix to the top of the soup. Cover and simmer until the matzo balls are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve topped with fresh dill or parsley.

How To Store And Freeze Matzo Balls

  • Matzo balls can be stored cooked or uncooked in the refrigerator in an airtight container. For cooked matzo balls, they will keep in the fridge for three to four days uncooked will keep for one to two days.
  • You can also store matzo balls in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Do not keep them in the soup as they can get too soggy and fall apart.

For Passover Or Anytime A Soup Craving Strikes

If youve never had matzo ball soup, get ready to meet your new favourite comfort food. It features a lot of the same soothing flavours as chicken noodle soup but, instead of noodles, you get juicy dumplings made out of matzo meal , eggs and schmaltz .

Its a traditional dish for Passover, which begins on March 27 and ends on April 4 this year, but its also a lovely anytime dish, particularly for keeping yourself warm on a rainy spring day. These are some of the top spots to order this classic soup in Toronto.

Recommended Reading: Does Knorr Chicken Bouillon Have Gluten

Video: How To Make Chicken Soup With Matzah Balls

Step-by-step directions to make chicken soup for holidays or all year.

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The most requested meal in my house is undoubtedly chicken soup with matzah balls. My daughter loves it loaded up with noodles, kreplach and rice when I have the time, but shell also happily take it made simply with some super fluffy matzah goodness.

Chicken soup is one of the most beloved Jewish foods, and also one of the dishes we get asked about most often. Its the kind of dish that can be made dozens of ways: with leeks, with turnips, without turnips, with sauteed onions, with whole onions, with just bones, with a whole chicken and even with chicken that has already been roasted.

Here is the recipe I make time and time again simple, delicious and infused with love, which is most certainly the secret ingredient.

Easy Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

Matzah Ball Soup: A Jewish Mother Requirement

This wonderfully simple version of an iconic Jewish recipe – traditionally enjoyed at Passover but actually enjoyed all year round – originates from Melbournes well known Balaclava Deli, famous for its wonderful soup and matzo balls.

If you cant find coarse matzo meal, you can crush matzo sheets in the food processor to make your own. You can find matzo in the kosher aisle at major supermarkets

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Homemade Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

This is the BEST chicken soup, Jewish penicillin, or whatever youd like to call it. Ive always shied away from parsnips and dill is not my favorite herb, but they both add layers of flavor to this delicious chicken vegetable soup. The only homemade chicken soup I remember from my childhood was matzo ball soup, which may seem unusual for our Catholic family. My sisters and I adored it.

We had Jewish neighbors down the street, and I imagine my moms version came from her friend, Hanna. Even growing up in a small college town in the Midwest, my mom collected recipes from her friends of all ethnicities, Julia Child on PBS, and her treasured cookbook collection including the New York Times Cookbook.

Ive added matzo balls or orzo, a small rice-shaped pasta, in the past, but any noodle or dumpling would be nice in this flavorful chicken stock. This Jewish chicken soup is perfect if youre under the weather or just want something to warm you to the core on a chilly evening. Ive shared this recipe with numerous friends, and every single one swears this is the best chicken soup recipe theyve ever tasted.

A Brief History Of Chicken Soup The Jewish Penicillin

Way before Campbells iconic cans, Jews around the world prepared the savory broth. We take a closer look at its unique origins, just in time for Yom Kippur

Chicken soup is the undoubtable symbol of Jewish cuisine. But the hot broth made of scarce and expensive fresh meat was not always readily available in every Eastern European Jewish community.

However, there was one day a year when every family, rich or poor, prepared the soup: Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

At night, the people of the village would wave fluttering chickens above their heads for the atonement ceremony called kapparot, and right after the ceremony people marched in droves to the slaughterhouse, recalled Shmil Holand in his book Schmaltz. A few hours later, the village was filled with the aroma of fresh chicken soup, which was then served before the Yom Kippur fast.

Much has changed since the days of shtetl life in Poland. In American popular culture, though, chicken soup remains the quintessential Jewish comfort food and a symbol of homemade Jewish cuisine that members of the community long for.

The Chinese chicken soup is usually seasoned with ginger and scallion, but their main claim to fame in the chicken soup department is the addition of noodles. The Chinese actually made the first chicken noodle soup which they referred to as noodles in broth rather than soup centuries before Campbells produced its ever popular version in that can.

Good enough for Golda

Also Check: Chicken Casserole With Campbell’s Soup

More Chicken Soups Youll Love

I always have a stash of chicken in my freezer, and I appreciate how versatile it is. From this comforting Chicken Jambalaya Soup to this hearty White Chicken Chili, the flavor profiles are endless. I also adore this Chicken Wild Rice Soup and how about this Creamy Chicken Soup? This French Côte dAzur Cure-All-Soup has loads of garlic and chicken broth and is touted to cure hangovers! it might also have similar powers as this Jewish chicken soup! This flavorful Verde Chicken Soup and Asian Chicken Soup also caught my eye! If you have a pressure cooker, this Instant Pot Chicken Stock is unbelievably good!

Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

How To Make Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

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Making chicken soup is a bit of a potschke, as my mother would say, but its not hard you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it. And the matzo balls are made from a mix!

This recipe comes from my friend Dana Kaminsky, who, according to my family, makes the best matzo ball soup. Whenever we go to Danas house for the Jewish holidays, my kids have matzo ball eating contests and stuff themselves silly . And, for every other matzo ball soup we try, the verdict is always the same: its not as good as Danas.

The soup is a bit of a potschke, as my mother would say . Dont get me wrong, its not hard you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it but its a two-day project, so you want to make it well ahead of time. In fact, it tastes better if you do. And, if you have two large pots, you might as well double the recipe and freeze some for later.

The matzo balls, however, are quick and easy. Theyre made from a mix, which I know might seem sacrilege, but theyre light, fluffy and foolproof, so why reinvent the wheel?

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How To Make Perfect Chicken Soup And Matzah Balls

Chicken soup is universal, comforting and enjoyed year-round.

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More than any other question that I get from friends and readers is how to make a great chicken soup with matzah balls. Chicken soup is universal, comforting and enjoyed year-round, as opposed to some traditional Jewish foods that are enjoyed only at a particular holiday.

Its not complicated if you follow a few easy steps, and this year we decided to help out even further by making a short video to help take away the mystery of making perfect chicken soup every time.

Monday Morning Cooking Club Recipe Video Series: Number One

This is the simplest chicken soup we have come across and it is still full of amazing flavour. It really celebrates the chicken, so choose your chicken well! Made with lots of chicken bones, it is a clear, rich soup which jellies when cold. Best served piping hot with matzo balls or egg noodles.

We were lucky enough to come across Lena from the Balaclava Deli in Melbourne, Australia when it was suggested to us that she makes the best meat blintzes in the world.

This is the wonderful soup that Lena sells at the Balaclava Deli. Matzo balls are matzo meal dumplings eaten in chicken soup, traditionally served at Pesach although they are also enjoyed all year round. This is Lenas recipe which took her about four years to perfect. She needed one which worked perfectly each and every time and produced soft, melt-in-your-mouth matzo balls when they have orders for 7000 matzo balls at Pesach, they dont want to make any mistakes.

Matzo Meal can be found in the kosher aisle at supermarkets and at specialty food stores.

Votes: 5
Simple Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls
Votes: 5
  • Start this recipe the day before serving.
  • Allow to cool slightly for 30 minutes before removing the bones and straining the soup, discarding everything except the carrot.Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.
  • Makes 3 – 4 litres .
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    How Do You Make Chicken Soup From Scratch

    The process for making this Chicken Soup AKA Jewish Penicillin starts with placing a whole chicken in a large pot. This just wont work best with boneless, skinless chicken breasts you need the bones for an unequivocal success in the flavor department. If youd rather use bone-in chicken pieces, make sure to include both dark meat and white meat as the dark meat is more flavorful. Cover the chicken with water.

    Large chunks of vegetables are added along with herbs and the simmering process begins. The long cooking time helps reduce the liquid via evaporation to concentrate the flavors, plus more flavors are extracted from the chicken and bones. Make sure to occasionally skim off any foam, which comes from impurities, and will make the broth cloudy if not removed. I add about a tablespoon of kosher salt to start , but after an hour or so, taste and add a bit more if needed.

    After waiting patiently for 3 hours, youll be clamoring for a bowl of this fragrant broth, but make sure to add back some chunks of carrots and the shredded chicken. I also like to slice up some celery and add it towards the end of the cooking time for some additional vegetables.

    Place Chicken in the Pot Add all the Veggies Add water to Cover the Ingredients Top with Herbs and simmer away!

    Jewish Chicken Soup With Matzo Ballsthe Real Jewish Penicillin

    kosher chicken soup with matzo balls

    This recipe is what my childhood memories are made of. It is what I need to turn to when I am sick or aching from a bad day. The rich golden broth makes my sniffles melt away and warms my soul. Full of veggies, tender chicken and moist, melt away matzo balls, this Jewish Chicken Soup is the Real Jewish Penicillinthe answer to all of lives hard times.

    This post is a recreation of the very first blog post I ever wrote. However, it was so near and dear to my heart that I decided I needed to make it better.

    Year after year, the one request I get from my readers and clients alike is to teach them the secret to a real Jewish chicken soup. There are very few rules to a good chicken soup, mine starts with two ingredients, heart and soul.

    This Chicken Soup was the ONLY food I would eat as a kid. We had to have it in the house all the time or else I went hungry.

    I can still recall that wonderful taste. The best part was when my mother used to hand feed me with it. She would take a bite size piece of bread with some meat on it from the soup and put it in my mouth followed by a spoonful of broth. That taste has been forever imprinted in my mind.

    When I am sick, this is my calling. All diets are off when Im sick, I slurp up every golden circle of chicken fat and gobble up every last piece of chicken skin, until my belly smiles with glee.

    And so I pass my moms simple recipe onto you.

    This soup is ALWAYS a standard in my freezer as well as on my holiday tables.

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    Classic Chicken Soup With Herbed Matzo Balls

    Makes 10 and 3/4 cups soup

    • 1 whole chicken, cut into quarters

    • 1 large onion, quartered

    • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters

    • 2 stalks celery, cut in half crosswise

    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

    • 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger

    • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut in half

    • 1 fennel bulb, quartered

    • 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, about 4 large

    • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves

    • 1 cup fresh dill

    • 2 bay leaves

    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

    • 7 cups water or to the maximum fill line

    What Can Be Added For More Flavor

    If your chicken soup is bland, it may need more salt. Thats why its important to taste it along the way and adjust the seasonings. PRO-Tip: You can always add more salt, but you cannot remove any excess. Other ingredients you might consider include herbs, garlic, peppercorns, chicken bones, along with more unusual vegetables like parsnips.

    Note: do not taste the broth until the chicken has simmered for over an hour to avoid the chance of a foodborne illness like salmonella.

    Read Also: Lipton Onion Soup Mix Rice

    Chicken Soup With Caramelized Cabbage Matzah Balls Recipe

    Caramelized cabbage and onion get added right into the matzah balls with this rich soup.

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    Cabbage has been trending for the past year or so, and what better way to add a little extra flavor into chicken soup than these caramelized cabbage matzah balls. For light and fluffy matzah balls, I like to fold in furiously whisked egg whites. The other most important tip for extra light matzah balls is to always handle them with care. Dip your hands in cold water and gently form them into small, walnut-sized balls. Adding broth from the soup right into the matzah balls is my way of giving the illusion that the matzah balls have been cooked in the soup itself, but without clouding up the soup. You may skip that step, but it does provide just a little bit extra flavor.

    Health Benefits Of Chicken Soup

    Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls

    Have you ever wondered why chicken soup is constantly recommended when youre feeling under the weather? Or why chicken soup is often referred to as Jewish Penicillin? Well, there are a few reasons why a good, homemade chicken soup can relieve your upper respiratory infection symptoms. There are quite a few health benefits!

    • Fluids help reduce congestion, though this is not limited to chicken soup.
    • The steam of a hot liquid can also help soothe the throat and open the nasal passages.
    • A 2000 study by The American College of Chest Physicians showed that chicken soup can help reduce upper respiratory inflammation, although it does not kill the viruses causing the illness. It actually inhibits the movement of white cells to the inflamed areas, which helps prevent further congestion.
    • A Huffington Post article sites the TLC factor, like when someone cares enough to provide comfort through a bowl of soup, it can actually help you feel better. Its not the same as the placebo effect.
    • Often referred to as Jewish penicillin, as chicken soup is a traditional food in Ashkenazi Jewish culture and part of the Passover meal.

    Also Check: Campbells Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe

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