When it comes to matzo ball soup, the medium-fluffy matzo balls are the real stars of the show. They float in a clear chicken broth with some carrots and celery, but that’s about it!
Passover dinner would not be the same without a bowl of this light, brothy matzo ball soup.
If you want to make a heartier bowl of soup, you can add chicken meat. Just poach some chicken breasts or tenders in the chicken broth until cooked through, and then shred or cut them into bite-sized pieces before adding the meat back to the soup.
If you’re making your chicken stock from scratch, you could also poach some chicken breasts or thighs along with the bones and add them to your soup before serving.
Once Passover is over and you no longer need to observe the dietary laws of the holiday, think about adding some noodles or kreplach (a.k.a. meat-filled dumplings) for a really deluxe bowl!
One last note about making the matzo balls: Dense matzo balls are “sinkers.” They stay on the bottom of the pot. Proper matzo balls (a.k.a. “floaters”) should bob to the surface of the pot while they’re cooking. The matzo balls won’t be fully cooked when they first float – they’ll still need a full 40 minutes of cooking time – but floating matzo balls are a good indication you didn’t mess up your matzo balls!
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
For the matzo balls:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat), melted, or any neutral-flavored oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
For the soup:
- 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/8-inch thick)
- 2 inner ribs of celery, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/8-inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dill
- Ground black pepper
1 Make the matzo ball mixture: Make the matzo ball mixture: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, schmaltz, water, salt, and pepper. Stir in the matzo meal. Cover the bowl tightly and chill it in the fridge for at least two hours, or up to a day ahead.
2 Shape and cook the matzo balls: In a large saucepan or soup pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. When the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low.
Use your hands to roll the matzo ball mixture into approximately 1-inch balls. As you finish rolling each ball, gently drop it into the simmering water.
When all of the matzo balls are in the water, immediately cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let the matzo balls simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, until they have floated to the top and roughly doubled in size. Avoid uncovering the pot while the matzo balls are cooking (a covered pot helps the matzo balls cook more evenly and quickly).
3 Warm the broth and vegetables: While the matzo balls are simmering, bring the chicken broth up to a simmer in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced carrots and celery and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer the vegetables in the broth until they’re tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the broth covered so it stays hot while the matzo balls finish cooking.
4 Serve the soup: Use a slotted spoon to transfer three matzo balls into each soup bowl, then ladle 1 1/2 cups of broth into each bowl. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley or dill and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve piping hot.