Matzo Ball Soup

This image courtesy of Tom Eckerle

Serves5 to 6

Cooking Methodpoaching


Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursehot appetizer

Dietary Considerationkosher

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Moodblue, festive

Taste and Texturelight, meaty, salty

Type of Dishchicken soup


  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons seltzer or soda water
  • 3 tablespoons chicken fat, skimmed from the chilled chicken stock or store-bought, called schmaltz
  • 2/3 to ¾ cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly milled white pepper
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Stock: Place the stock ingredients in a soup kettle and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Partially cover the kettle and poach the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the thigh juices run clear when pierced with a kitchen fork. Remove and discard the vegetables from the soup and let the chicken cool in the stock.

  2. When the stock is cool, remove the poached chicken and refrigerate the stock and the chicken separately. Reserve the chicken for sandwiches and chicken salads.

  3. Matzo balls: In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and combine with the seltzer. Add the chicken fat and blend. Gradually add the matzo meal, stirring until the mixture is spongy and lightly thickened. Add the parsley and seasonings and blend. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the mixture and the stock from the refrigerator 30 minutes before preparing the soup.

  5. Skim the stock of all fat and bring to a simmer over low heat. Shape the matzo mixture into 1-inch balls, wetting your hands in cold water from time to time to prevent sticking. Increase the heat to produce a gentle boil and add the matzo balls to the soup. Partially cover the kettle and poach the matzo balls for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through. Test one to be sure it is cooked in the center.

  6. Ladle 2 matzo balls and broth into each heated bowl and sprinkle with the additional parsley.


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