We had a doozy of a storm this week and all I could think about while the rain poured down was a big cup of matzo ball chicken soup. Is there anything more comforting to eat? I happened to go over to a friend’s house for dinner this past Friday and one of her guests had never had matzo ball soup before! I had no idea there were people in this world who haven’t been privy to what is known as “Jewish Penicillin”. So if you have never had matzo ball soup before, now is the time to change that. And if you have a family recipe that you love, please share any tips and tricks in the comments.
Matzo Ball Soup
- 2 chicken breasts or a package of legs and thighs.
- Carrots: I use the “baby” carrots in the bags because I always have them in my fridge but you could use regular carrots as well. Slice them until you have about 1/3 cup.
- Celery: I usually chop up 1-2 stalks, including the leaves.
- 1/2 a large onion or 1 small onion chopped.
- 1-2 32 oz box of chicken stock or broth
- 1 package matzo ball mix (you can find these in the kosher section of your supermarket)
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- optional: I like to add fresh dill but I didn’t have any on hand when I made this soup. A pinch of dried dill will also work.
In a large soup pot add the raw chicken, carrots, celery, onions, and dill if you have it. Cover with the broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile follow the directions on the matzo ball mix. I use Manischewitz brand and it says to mix the packet with two eggs and 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Then chill for around 15 minutes. When the soup has been cooking for 30 minutes, roll the matzo mixture into small balls, mine are usually around the size of a walnut, and add to the soup. They will puff up when cooked. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
*Pressed for time? Let the matzo balls cook at the same time as the chicken. Just check the chicken to make sure it has cooked all the way through.
*Notice I didn’t say anything about adding salt. I have found the matzo ball mix to be quite salty, so don’t put salt into your soup until after the matzo balls have been cooked. Then add salt to taste. This should be a salty soup, but not too salty.
To serve, remove the cooked chicken and chop into smaller pieces. I add this directly into bowls but you can also put it back in the soup. Then using a ladle, fill the bowls with the broth and at least one matzo ball per person.