Making a matzo ball soup recipe from scratch is not as hard as it sounds! Throw everything in a large pot and let it simmer for a couple hours until you have a rich, aromatic broth filled with your favorite veggies, tender, fall-off-the-bone boiled chicken and the fluffiest matzo balls!
It’s called Jewish penicillin for a reason. The ultimate comfort food, cozy, calming and reminiscent of childhood. However, there seems to be two camps of childhood chicken soup memories: the absolutely amazing, aromatic, I’ll-never-live-up-to-this-rich-broth-and-fluffy-matzo-balls soup camp and the why-does-the-broth-taste-like-dishwater-with-matzo-balls-that-are-harder-than-lead soup camp.
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I grew up with the former. My mother’s homemade chicken soup with matzo balls is the stuff of legends. For years, I was scared to make my own homemade matzo ball soup. Scared to make my own matzo balls from scratch. How on earth could I hope to live up to my mother’s legendary chicken soup?
Let’s be honest, Is it even real matzo ball soup recipe if a Jewish bubbe didn’t stand over a stove all day, skimming fat while grumbling about her single granddaughters?
Answers to these questions and more, start here with this absolutely perfect homemade matzo ball soup recipe.
When I finally decided to bite the bullet this year and make a homemade matzo ball soup from scratch (bones and all, not a bouillon cube or box of stock in sight), I learned that anyone – yes anyone – can make a delicious homemade matzo ball soup from scratch.
And I promise that you can do this, yourself, without the supervision of your mother and even if you live in a tiny New York City apartment with no counter space and barely enough room to store a stock pot. All you need is this matzo ball soup recipe.
Tips For Making Homemade Matzo Ball Soup
- The key to a rich and flavorful broth is the ratio of water to chicken and vegetables. You want the water in the pot to be about 2/3 of the way to the top of your pot with enough chicken and vegetables so that they are not totally submerged in the water – the pot should feel really full of chicken and vegetables.
- You don’t need to use a whole chicken if your pot isn’t big enough – but if it is, you should! If using chicken pieces it’s better to go for the fattier cuts like legs, thighs and drumsticks. You must use bone-in, skin-on chicken! The bones are the key to the broth.
- I always use raw chicken but have also heard recommendations for using leftover bones from a rotisserie chicken and assurances that the broth turns out just as well.
- Don’t skip the parsnip! The parsnip is key to the broth flavor, and it’ll be even better if you use parsnip and turnip
- Be generous with salt and dill. These are the aromatics that really help flavor the broth. I personally don’t like a lot of dill when I serve the soup but the broth needs a lot of dill to simmer in.
- The matzo balls in this recipe are not gluten-free, because I wanted to make them from scratch, in the traditional style, specifically for JB. I think the matzo balls would turn out just as well if you use gluten-free matzo meal but I have not personally tried it. I kept them separate from the broth so that I could also enjoy the soup without the matzo balls.
Ingredients Needed To Make Matzo Ball Soup From Scratch
It sounds like this soup recipe requires a lot of ingredients, but it’s a very unfussy soup that does not require a lot of supervision. Throw everything in a pot and let it simmer for a few hours until you have a rich, aromatic broth filled with your favorite veggies and fall-off-the-bone chicken.
You’ll need bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces and a variety of root vegetables, specifically carrots, parsnip and turnip. Celery and onion round out the vegetables in the broth, and to enhance the flavor we also throw in large bunches of dill and optional parsley.
How Do You Make Matzo Ball Soup From Scratch?
To make the matzo balls, you’ll need matzo meal, vegetable oil, eggs, matzo meal and water or seltzer. My best tip for fluffy matzo balls is to use seltzer instead of water! I like Streit’s Matzo Meal. Don’t use a matzo ball mix – it’s so much better and just as easy to make them from scratch!
Make the matzo balls while the chicken broth is simmering, and after you’ve skimmed a bit of fat from the soup. Add up to two tablespoons of chicken fat to the matzo balls for even more fluffy flavor.
How Should You Serve Homemade Matzo Ball Soup?
Everyone has a different preference for serving matzo ball soup. Some like just the broth and matzo balls with the chicken and vegetables on the side. Some people may prefer all the veggies, chicken and broth together, with extra dill for garnish. There’s no right or wrong way to serve homemade chicken soup with matzo balls, although I like to keep the chicken in the soup and serve with just the boiled carrots and celery.
Only add the matzo balls to the soup when heating up to serve, otherwise I like to keep them separate. When storing the soup, I like to store the chicken and vegetables, matzo balls and broth separately in the fridge and assemble the soup with my desired add-ins just before serving.
Can You Make Matzo Ball Soup Ahead Of Time?
Yes! You can make homemade matzo ball soup ahead of time. Just keep the homemade chicken stock and matzo balls separate until you’re ready to serve. When ready to serve the soup, heat up the broth and the matzo balls in the same pot over a medium to low heat. Matzo ball soup also freezes well! I prefer to freeze the matzo balls and chicken stock separately though.
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe Ingredients
For The Chicken Broth:
1-2 lbs bone in, skin on chicken thighs, legs or drumsticks (adjust depending on size of your pot, I used one package of chicken thighs in a 3 quart saucepan filled 2/3 of the way full)
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 white or yellow onion, cut into chunks
1-2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 turnip, peeled and cut in half or chunks
Water (Enough to fill your pot 2/3 of the way full with all the chicken and vegetables in the pot)
1-2 large bunches of fresh dill
1/2-1 bunch fresh parsley (Optional – use half as much parsley as dill; if you use 1 bunch of dill, use 1/2 bunch of parsley)
1-2 tbsp salt (Start with 1 tbsp, adjust to taste; I used 2 tbsp)
Note: All of these quantities can be adjusted depending on the size of your pot and how much soup you want to make. Eyeball the level of water and ratio of chicken/vegetables to water, just remember – pot should look more full of vegetables and chicken, not full of water)
For The Matzo Balls:
1 package matzo meal(I use Streit’s Matzo Meal)
If using Streit’s, you will need:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I recommend using Canola oil for the most authentic, traditional taste)
1/4 cup water or seltzer (Use seltzer for the fluffiest matzo balls!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe Instructions
To Make The Homemade Chicken Broth:
- Put chicken in your pot and fill 2/3 of the way to the top of the pot with water.
- Bring to a boil and once layer of frothy fat forms, skim the fat into a small bowl until broth is mostly clear again.
- While the stock is coming to a boil, chop up your vegetables.
- After the fat is skimmed from the broth, add all the veggies to the pot (Adjust ratio of water if needed)
- Reduce to a simmer and cover (but leave lid partially open to reduce the broth slightly) for about 2 hours. Occasionally check the soup to make sure it’s not boiling over – you want to maintain a gentle simmer on low heat, if you over-boil the chicken will get too dry.
- After about two hours, taste the broth and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Strain broth back into pot or storage container, thereby separating the chicken and vegetables from the broth.
- Store in separate airtight containers in the fridge or in separate pots warming on the stovetop.
- Serve as you like, with the broth on its own or with the chicken and vegetables.
To Make The Homemade Matzo Balls:
- Follow the instructions on the matzo meal package to prepare the matzo balls.
- To serve, add to bowls and cover with homemade chicken broth, chicken and veggies.
Did you try making this matzo ball soup recipe from scratch? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below, I love to hear from you!Print
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