Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
Melanie Acevedo/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
733 Calories
34g Fat
32g Carbs
70g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 733
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 293mg 98%
Sodium 541mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 952mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

We believe that this Jewish comfort food classic is "foolproof." The matzo balls are lightened with whipped egg whites, but if that technique is too fussy for you, you can simplify things further by swapping them for these Za'atar matzo balls. (If you're making them for Passover and don't use kitniot, you can skip the za'atar, or mix in a little chopped fresh parsley, basil, or dill.)

Crave matzo ball soup but need a vegetarian recipe? Try this no-chicken matzo ball soup.

Ingredients

For the Soup: 

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 3 medium zucchini, trimmed, peeled, and chopped

  • 3 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced

  • 3 small onions, chopped

  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • Chicken soup powder, optional, to taste

For the Matzo Balls: 

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or grapeseed oil

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 cup matzo meal

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

Make the Soup

  1. Place chicken in a large soup pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, for 20 to 30 minutes, skimming and discarding the froth that rises to the top.

  2. Add the carrots, zucchini, celery, onions, parsnips, salt, and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding a little chicken soup powder if desired to amplify the flavors. 

  3. Allow the soup to cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold. Spoon the solidified schmaltz (chicken fat) off the soup.

  4. Strain the soup, return the vegetables to the pot if desired, and reheat before serving.

Prepare the Matzo Balls

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or rotary hand beaters to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, and water. As an alternative to oil, you can also use the schmaltz (chicken fat) that rises to the top of the soup as it cools.

  3. In a third large bowl, mix the matzo meal with the salt and pepper. In alternate additions. gently fold the egg yolk mixture and matzo meal mixture into egg whites to form a light, firm dough. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Flavor with a little bit of chicken soup mix if desired.

  5. With wet hands, form the matzo ball mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. Carefully drop the balls into the boiling water.

  6. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through. Don't uncover the pot while cooking as this can cause the balls to fall. Matzo balls can be stored for two days in a covered container in the refrigerator.

  7. To serve, reheat the chicken soup, strain the matzo balls from their cooking water, and transfer to the simmering soup. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.