Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls

    3 hours 50 minutes

    This is my favourite soup to serve at Passover but it's good year round. You can boil the matzoh balls separately if you don't want them to make the broth cloudy.

    21 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 1 whole chicken
    • 2 onions, roughly diced
    • 3 carrots, sliced
    • 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
    • salt to taste
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 2 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil (see footnote)
    • 50g matzoh meal
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 tablespoons chicken stock
    • handful chopped fresh dill

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:3hours20min  ›  Ready in:3hours50min 

    1. Trim off neck flap all the way up to the top of the chicken's wishbone. Trim fat and skin from around the back cavity of the chicken. Reserve both. Cut chicken into quarters. Place chicken in large pot with onions and cover with about 4 litres water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
    2. Add carrots and celery to the pot; simmer an additional hour. Season to taste with salt.
    3. Remove chicken pieces and set aside. You may reserve them for another use or shred the meat for the soup. Keep the chicken covered at room temperature before shredding.
    4. Dice reserved skin and fat into 2.5cm pieces. Cook in a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat, turning occasionally. Make sure the pan never gets so hot as to cause the rendered fat to smoke. When the skin is crisp and brown, remove to a cutting board and drain the fat (schmaltz) into a small non-plastic bowl to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, mince the skin finely.
    5. To make the matzoh balls, blend schmaltz or oil and eggs together. Mix together matzo meal and salt. Combine the two mixtures and mix well. Add 4 tablespoons stock or water; mix until uniform. Stir in minced skin. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
    6. Bring soup to the boil. Meanwhile, roll matzoh mixture into 2.5cm balls. Reduce heat and drop balls into soup. Add dill. Cover pot, and cook 30 to 40 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE THE COVER FROM THE POT WHILE COOKING!


    Schmaltz is used often in Jewish cuisine and is rendered chicken or goose fat. If you don't want to use the schmaltz to make the matzoh balls, simply use vegetable oil.

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    Reviews in English (22)


    Original review 7/9: This is basically a good recipe, Holly. But grebenes and schmaltz? Why would anyone want to make life so difficult? For the Matzoh Balls, I just used the Manishewitz mix. They come out perfect every time. Follow the package instructions, cook separately and add to the soup at the end. As to the soup, I did add the chicken back to mine. I added twice as many carrots, and 3 stalks of celery. I added the whole onions at this point, and removed before serving. Cut the amount of dill by half, added seasoned salt, garlic powder, turmeric, a bay leaf and dried parsley. And found I needed to add a couple of Tbsps. Chicken Flavored Better than Boullion to bring out the flavor. Otherwise, and without the extras, it would have been a very bland soup. Thank you. Update 10/13: I just wanted to add that my husband, the Wisconconite, could eat this soup every week, and in fact, drives me crazy with his constant requests for it. Go figure!  -  09 Jul 2006  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Here is how to make this recipe easy, very easy, and tasty: Use chicken broth (preferably organic), use Swanson pre-cooked, cubed chicken in a pouch (perfect chicken and no draining required). I add garlic and a bay leaf for additional flavor. You can also use egg whites to lower the cholesterol count whne making the Matzo Balls. There now its perfect, easy and fast!  -  16 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I'll eat any matzoh ball soup especially when I'm ill. If I'm ill, I reach for the Manischewitz tin and if I'm well my secret to perfect matzoh balls is on the back of the Manischewitz matzoh ball mix - the 'secret' of many cooks!! I skip the grebenes and use either pareve margarine or home-made schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). I use parsnips, carrots, celery and onion when making the chicken soup but they're drained out for the finished stock. The finished product is just clear chicken stock, matzoh balls and finely chopped parsley sprinkled on top just before serving. I'm headed for the kitchen to make some soup....  -  25 Apr 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)