The Ultimate Balaboosta’s Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe

bowl of matzoh ball soup

Nothing is as comforting as a good bowl of matzoh ball soup. A staple in Jewish homes during Passover, it signifies Judaism more than any other food. Representing the unleavened bread Jews survived on while fleeing Egypt, matzoh balls help us to remember Jewish history.

The History of Matzoh Ball Soup

Matzoh balls are soup dumplings made from matzoh meal, beaten eggs, water, and schmaltz, or chicken fat. The texture may be light or dense, causing them to sink or float in soup, depending on the recipe. 

While the exact origins of matzoh balls and matzoh ball soup are somewhat unclear, history states that German, Austrian, and Alsatian Jews were the first to use the leftover crumbs from matzoh baking to produce filling additions for soup. They called this bready dumpling knoedel, or Knodel. As Jews moved eastward to Poland and the Pale Settlement in Russia, they brought this invention with them calling it kneidlach (Yiddish for Knodel).

The term Matzoh ball itself was first used in English in 1902.

Sarah’s Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe

The ultimate balaboosta’s matzoh ball soup recipe requires schmaltz to be rendered from boiling a chicken. Sure, you can use vegetable oil to make your matzoh balls and already made chicken broth to make your soup, but if you do, you are no balaboosta. 

This is how to make traditional matzoh ball soup.

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 (3.5 to 4-lb) chicken
  • 2 large onions 
  • 2 celery stalks 
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 4 parsnips
  • 6 dill sprigs
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Soup Directions

  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and cover it with water.
  2. Over high heat, bring it to a boil, removing any scum that rises to the top.
  3. Let the water boil for a few minutes and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Add all the vegetables, plus the salt and pepper.
  5. With the lid ajar, simmer the soup for one to two hours, until the chicken is falling off the bones.
  6. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let it sit until the soup cools to room temperature.
  7. Place the pot in the refrigerate for three hours or even overnight to allow the schmaltz (chicken fat) to solidify.
  8. Skim the schmaltz and set it aside for making the matzoh balls.

Matzoh Balls Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 1/4 cup schmaltz (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped dill (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Matzoh Balls Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, matzoh meal, schmaltz, chicken stock, ginger, nutmeg, dill, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate one hour to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, bring a deep pot of lightly salted water to boil.
  4. With wet hands, mold golf ball sized balls.
  5. Gently drop matzoh balls into the boiling water, until all the mixture is used (makes about 10 to 12 balls).
  6. Cover the pan and reduce the heat; cook for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. When cooked, matzoh balls should be the same color and texture throughout.

To Serve the Matzoh Ball Soup

Strain the refrigerated soup. Discard the vegetables and reserve the chicken for chicken salad. Reheat the broth. Spoon a matzo ball or two into each bowl and pour the soup over it. Sprinkle with remaining dill. Serves six to eight.

Sarah’s Tent Kosher Market carries all the ingredients you need to make this delicious matzoh ball soup. To place your order or for more information, contact us.


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