Apr 23, 2014

Matzo Ball Chicken Soup

It's one of the most popular staples in Jewish cooking. It seems to have special medicinal healing power. It induces childhood memories of Bubbe hovering over a steaming pot of bubbling broth. Well, it would for me if I grew up in a Jewish home like so many of my good friends. I've had adhered to such whimsical thoughts as if they were my own. Now I can create memories for my daughter of the days during Passover when matzo crumbs make their way into every corner of the kitchen and these magic dumplings float to the surface telling us it's time to eat.


  • 4 chicken thighs, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced - split into two portions
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 scallion stalks, diced - split into two portions
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 box matzo ball soup mix (I prefer Streit's)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  1. Preheat large soup pot over medium heat with 2 Tbs oil. Sauté chicken skin side down until golden. Remove and set aside. 
  2. Add half of carrots, celery, half of scallion; season with salt and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Deglaze pan with wine. Add thyme and bay leaves and stir until fragrant. 
  3. Add chicken back into pan and follow matzo ball soup mix directions and add quantity of water directed; allow chicken, vegetables and herbs to simmer in water for 20 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, make matzo balls according to directions. Add parsley. For an extra touch, replace oil called for in directions with kosher for Passover schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). Allow matzo balls to rest.
  5. Strain liquid removing all of the herbs, vegetables and chicken; reserve the chicken, dice and set aside; discard the rest.
  6. Return strained liquid to soup pot and stir in packet labeled "soup"; bring up to a boil.
  7. Using ice cream scoop and wet hands, form 1/2-inch sized balls. Drop into boiling liquid one at a time. Balls with cook to twice their size.
  8. Add diced chicken, remaining scallions and carrots; reduce heat to low simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes. 
  9. Can be served immediately. Serves about 8-10.

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