Matzoh Ball Soup

    3 hours 50 min

    This Passover tradition is one of my favourite soups, good year round. I always double the recipe for the matzoh balls, since everyone enjoys them so much. You may wish to cook the matzoh balls in slightly salted water, allow them to cool for several minutes and then transfer them to the soup. Some people say that the matzoh balls make the broth a bit cloudy.

    24 people made this

    Serves: 8 

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

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:3hr20min  ›  Ready in:3hr50min 

    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 for schmaltz and gribenes. 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 (1 in) 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 gribenes are crisp and brown, remove them to a cutting board and drain schmaltz into a small non-plastic bowl to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, mince the gribenes 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 gribenes. 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 WHLE COOKING!


    Gribenes and schmaltz are both used often in Jewish cuisine. Gribenes refer to the chicken crackling, while schmaltz 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)


    Took shortcuts. 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 use a 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 salt, garlic, turmeric, a bay leaf and dried parsley. Otherwise, and without the extras, it would have been a very bland soup. Thank you.  -  24 Jul 2008


    Used different ingredients. 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....  -  24 Jul 2008


    Altered ingredient amounts. This was very good. I actually made this just with 4 chicken breasts rather than a whole chicken and it turned out quite good. My guests all enjoyed it also.  -  24 Jul 2008