Prep 55 mins
Cook 3 hrs 25 mins
A rich, flavorful chicken soup with light, fluffy matzo dumplings. A traditional Passover favorite.
- 1 (5 -7 lb) roasting chickens (fat in cavity reserved, cut into pieces)
- 8 carrots, about 1 pound, divided
- 6 parsnips, about 1 pound, divided
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 head garlic, loose papery outer skin removed, cut in half crosswise
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup seltzer water, divided
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules, divided
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup matzo meal
- In pot over high heat, combine chicken with 5 quarts water or enough to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming foam as needed; reduce heat to medium-low. Meanwhile, cut half the carrots and parsnips into 2" pieces. Halve the remaining carrots and parsnips lengthwise. Cut into 1/2" pieces; set aside. To soup add celery, onion, garlic, and reserved large carrot and parsnip pieces; simmer 1 hour. Add next 4 ingredients; simmer about 30 minutes. Strain, reserving broth and chicken.
- Discard skin from chicken. Pull meat from bones; cut or tear into bite-sized pieces. Return broth to same pot over medium heat; add remaining carrots and parsnips. Simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken; heat well, about 5 minutes. Stir in last 4 soup ingredients. Cover; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet over low heat cook reserved chicken fat, stirring occasionally, until melted and solids begin to brown, 30 minutes. Strain fat, discarding solids. Measure melted fat; add enough vegetable oil to equal 1/3 cup, if necessary.
- In small pot over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup seltzer with 2 teaspoons bouillon. Cook until dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine eggs, salt, pepper, remaining seltzer and fat. Stir in cooled seltzer mixture and matzo meal. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Fill skillet halfway with water, add remaining bouillon granules. Place over high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. With lightly moistened hands, shape tablespoonfuls of matzo mixture into balls. Gently add to simmering water mixture.
- Cover; simmer until all matzo balls are cooked through, about 20 minutes. using a slotted spoon transfer matzo balls to soup. Let stand 15 minutes to allow matzo balls absorb flavors of soup. Reheat, if necessary, and serve.
Excellent and authentic! I love the lemon zest and dill in the soup. I put all the carrots in while cooking the broth, then fished out the carrots used in cooking the broth and put them back into the finished soup, because I knew my husband would like the super-soft carrots because that's the way his mother made her matzoh ball soup. I made this using a bunch of chicken backs/necks I had been saving in the freezer, so I didn't have a lot of chicken meat in my soup, but it was still great because the broth was so good, and the matzoh balls were the star. I made the broth the day before and refrigerated so the fat separated and I could remove it easily. Otherwise, I would remove the fat with a gravy separator.
This soup was delicious, spot on with flavour it reminds me of the same style they serve at Jerry's Deli. I did make one adjustment - I used instant Matzo Ball Mix (kosher/passover friendly) which was a timesaver when compared to the method listed in section 2. Definitely will make this again!
I served this to my temple for the Passover Seder and everyone commented on how good the broth was! Thank you for the recipe.