Last Updated on March 24, 2021
This coveted Jewish comfort food is perfect for Passover and year-round. Passover meals don’t contain leavening, and though menus vary from family to family, the only bread or cracker-type item found on the Passover table is made with matzoh, the flatbread made with just flour and water that forms the base of the dumplings known as matzoh balls.
Those light, fluffy dumplings are then served in a chicken soup that’s become a symbolic Jewish dish far beyond Passover. It’s a great go-to when you’re feeling sick or just craving a comforting bowl of soup. The chicken soup base is a simple recipe that can be tweaked in any number of ways—after Passover, you can try it with noodles, rice, even a mixture of beans and greens.
For the soup:
- 1 whole chicken cut up
- ½ gallon water
- 1 yellow onion cut in half and peeled
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into coins
- 1 large parsnip peeled
- 2 celery stalks cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 dill sprig
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
For the matzoh balls
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 5-ounce package of Matzo Ball Mix
For the soup
- Clean and break down the chicken into pieces.
- Place chicken in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
- Once pot reaches a boil, simmer for 1 hour, periodically skimming fat off the top.
- Add vegetables and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove vegetables and chicken (shred chicken and add back in if you wish or cut up and throw back in carrots and celery if you like)
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the matzo balls
- Mix together the eggs and oil in a medium bowl.
- Add in package of mix and stir together with fork until evenly combined.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes
- While the mix is in the fridge, fill a pot with 3 quarts of water (Note: you can add a little broth into the water, or a bouillon to create more flavorful matzo balls)
- Take mix out of the fridge and form into golf-ball sized balls, dropping into the water as you finish.
- Cover pot for 20 minutes at a simmer.
- Take out matzo balls and add to soup before serving.
Samantha Lande is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in Allrecipes, Food Network, Real Simple and other national publications.