Even if you don’t celebrate Passover, matzo ball soup is a delicious comfort-food that is easy to make and can be enjoyed at any time of year. To help speed up the soup-making process, you can prepare the chicken stock up to 2 days ahead of time and the matzo ball mixture up to 1 day ahead of time (keeping both covered and chilled until you’re ready to use).
- 4–5 pounds chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 pound chicken wings, necks and/or backs
- 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
- 6 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large shallot, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 12 cups water
Matzo ball mixture
- 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 3/4 cup matzo meal
- 1/4 cup schmaltz (chicken fat), melted
- 3 tablespoons club soda
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 small carrots, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick on a diagonal
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
- Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
Step 1: To prepare the chicken stock, bring all ingredients and 12 cups cold water to a boil in a large (at least 12-qt) stockpot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Step 2: Transfer chicken breasts to a plate, while any remaining chicken parts are left for stock. Let breasts cool a bit, then remove meat from the bones and return bones to stock. Shred meat, let cool, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
Step 3: Continue to simmer stock, skimming the surface occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 hours. Strain chicken stock through a fine-mesh colander into a large saucepan, discarding any solids.
Step 4: Prepare the matzo ball mixture by mixing eggs, matzo meal, schmaltz, club soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mixture will look somewhat like wet sand and will firm up as it sits. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
Step 5: When you’re ready for soup assembly, bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots and season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, add reserved breast meat and cover. Set soup aside.
Step 6: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Scoop out 2 portions of matzo ball mixture (1 tablespoon each) and use your hands to gently roll into balls (any size you prefer).
Step 7: Add matzo balls to boiling water and reduce heat to a gentle simmer (too much bouncing around will break them apart). Cover pot and cook matzo balls until cooked through and starting to sink, about 20-25 minutes.
Step 8: Using a slotted spoon, transfer 2 matzo balls to each bowl. Ladle soup over top and season with dill and pepper.
This recipe is best served hot and pairs well with any of your favorite deli sandwiches as well as beef brisket, traditionally served at Passover dinner. Use the hashtag #1AMcooks to share your dishes and let us know other recipes you would like to try.