Better Than Bubbe's Matzo Ball Soup

"A rich, flavorful chicken soup with light, fluffy matzo dumplings. A traditional Passover favorite."
photo by Ingy1171 photo by Ingy1171
photo by Ingy1171
Ready In:
4hrs 20mins




  • 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 schmaltz, eggs, salt, pepper, and seltzer . Stir in matzo meal. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  • Fill skillet halfway with water or chicken broth. 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 or broth.
  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. PamC6283
    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.
  2. fionas2fabulous
    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!
  3. Lunaraven_psi
    I served this to my temple for the Passover Seder and everyone commented on how good the broth was! Thank you for the recipe.
  4. Y2D1034
    This recipe was a big hit in my first experience creating a Passover feast. Having never made soup from scratch before, it was more work than I had expected but WELL worth it. I have made it several times since, each time to rave reviews. The only thing that I do differently is that I add a bit of dill to the matzo balls.
  5. Ingy1171
    This reminds of of my non-relative grandmother's matzo ball soup. The smell of this cooking brings back all those great childhood memories! I used chicken, onion, carrots, garlic and celery to make the broth, but didn't add them to the finished soup. The matzo balls are so tender and flavorful! I will make this often!


<p>I recently celebrated my 19th anniversary living in SW Florida. I moved here from Massachusetts, just north of Boston. As much as I miss family back home, I truly love living here - the beaches, the tropical beauty, the people, and the weather (except the hurricanes!). Everyday is just another day in Paradise. I work at the new international airport here in Fort Myers. I have an opportunity to meet many different and interesting people from around the world. I've had an interest in cooking since I was a little boy, following my grandmother around the kitchen. Since I wasn't blessed with any artistic or musical talent, I think cooking was my way of being creative. My passion is my family and friends. My second passion is cooking for them. My favorite way to entertain is informally...brunches, cookouts, and small dinner parties. Just relaxing, enjoying each other's company, some good food and drink, and a little fun are the only rules of the house.</p>
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