Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Once Upon a Chef (2022)

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Making chicken soup is a bit of a “potschke,” as my mother would say, but it’s not hard — you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it. And the matzo balls are made from a mix!

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Once Upon a Chef (1)

This recipe comes from my friend Dana Kaminsky, who, according to my family, makes the best matzo ball soup. Whenever we go to Dana’s house for the Jewish holidays, my kids have matzo ball eating contests and stuff themselves silly (my daughter holds the record with six, which was once cause for concern). And, for every other matzo ball soup we try, the verdict is always the same: “it’s not as good as Dana’s.”

The soup is a bit of a “potschke,” as my mother would say (meaning it requires some fussing). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not hard — you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it — but it’s a two-day project, so you want to make it well ahead of time. In fact, it tastes better if you do. And, if you have two large pots, you might as well double the recipe and freeze some for later.

The matzo balls, however, are quick and easy. They’re made from a mix, which I know might seem sacrilege, but they’re light, fluffy and foolproof, so why reinvent the wheel?

What you’ll need to make Chicken Soup

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What you’ll need to make Matzo Balls

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Step-by-step Instructions

Begin by placing the chicken and vegetables in a large 12-quart soup pot.

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Video: Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Matzoh Ball Soup

Add water to fill the pan almost to the top.

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Boil gently for 20 minutes, skimming any foam or scum that rises to the surface.

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Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 3-1/2 hours more. If you want to use the chicken (either in the finished soup or for another purpose), remove the whole chicken after 90 minutes and pull the meat off the bone, then place the carcassback in the soup and continue cooking.

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Let the soup coolin the fridge overnight. In the morning, skim most of the fat (but not all) off the top. Pull out the chicken, then strain the soup into a smaller potthrougha large colander. Discard the veggies, as they will be very mushy.

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Strain the soup one more time through a fine sieve. This will ensure the broth is golden and clear.

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At this point, the soup is done except for the seasoning, so refrigerate until ready to serve.

Video: Matzo Ball Soup - Chef Jason Bunin Cocoa Beach, Fl

Now, make the matzo balls.Simply follow the directions on the box: Combinethe eggs with the oil, then stir in the matzo ball mix. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then roll into gold ball-sized balls. For thelightest and fluffiest matzo balls that float, use a very light hand when forming the balls — do not compact!

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Drop the matzo balls into a large pot of boiling water. (Note: definitely do not cook them in yourchicken soup, or the broth will become cloudy and the matzo balls will soak up all your soup!)

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Cover the matzo balls and simmer for 30 minutes.

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When you’re ready to serve, bring the chickenbroth to a simmer. Add the powdered bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of seasoning — without it, the soup will be very bland.

Next,drop the choppedcarrots and matzo balls into the simmering broth. Cookuntil the carrots are tenderand thematzo balls are hot throughout. You’ll know everything isreadywhen the carrots and matzo balls float to the top.

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Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with some fresh parsley or dill and serve.

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Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

By Jennifer Segal, from my friend Dana Kaminsky

Making chicken soup is a bit of a “potschke,” as my mother would say, but it’s not hard — you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it. And the matzo balls are made from a mix!

Video: Jeannie Kamins makes matzo ball soup

Servings: 10-12

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • 1 (4-5) pound whole chicken
  • 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (or substitute 1 lb. baby carrots)
  • 5 celery stalks with greens, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 10 fresh parsley sprigs
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1-2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder (preferably kosher, such as Osem Chicken Style Consommé Instant Soup and Seasoning Mix)
  • Salt
  • White pepper

For the Matzo Balls

  • 1 box Streit's Matzo Ball Mix (2 bags of matzo mix)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs

For Serving

  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley or dill

Instructions

For the Soup

  1. Place the chicken, onions, turnips, carrots and celery in a large 12-quart stock pot and add enough water to fill the pan almost to the top, 6-8 quarts. Bring to boil. Let the soup boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, skimming off any froth or scum as it forms. Reduce the heat to low and add the bay leaves, parsley sprigs, celery seed, 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon white pepper. Cover and simmer 3½ hours more. (Note: if you want to use the chicken in the finished soup or for another purpose, remove the chicken from the soup after 90 minutes, pull the meat off the bone and return the carcass to the pot.) Let the soup cool on the stovetop until the pot is no longer hot; then place the soup pot in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, remove the pot from the refrigerator and skim most -- but not all -- of the fat from the surface of the soup. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the soup and discard. Place a colander over a large bowl or pot, and pour the soup through the colander to strain out all the vegetables. Discard the vegetables (they will be too mushy to serve with the soup). Place a fine mesh strainer over a smaller soup pot and strain the soup again to be sure the broth is clear. Discard the remaining solids. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.

For the Matzo Balls

  1. Follow the instructions on the package to combine the oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the package ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wet your hands and gently roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls (do not compact!). Drop the matzo balls into the boiling water. Bring back to a boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to a large plate or tupperware container. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Note: if you're making the matzo balls at the last minute, you can transfer them right from the boiling water into the chicken soup.)

For Serving

  1. Bring the soup to a simmer. Add the chicken bouillon powder, along with more salt and pepper to taste. (The amount of seasoning you add will depend on your personal preference and on how much water you used. I like a well-seasoned soup, so I add about 2 tablespoons of bouillon powder, 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper -- just add the seasoning gradually, tasting as you go, until the soup tastes flavorful.)
  2. Add the carrots and cooked matzo balls and simmer until the carrots are cooked and the matzo balls are hot throughout -- both are ready when they float to the surface. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley or dill.
  3. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup and the matzo balls can be frozen separately for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup and the matzo balls in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once the soup is hot, add the matzo balls and simmer until the matzo balls are soft in the center and heated through.
  4. Note: The nutritional information is calculated assuming the meat from the chicken and 2 teaspoons of salt were used.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Once Upon a Chef (15)

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Calories: 528
  • Fat: 37g
  • Saturated fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Sodium: 757mg
  • Cholesterol: 190mg

Nutritional Data Disclaimer

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Video: Matzo Ball Chicken Soup -Sylvie Curry, Lady of Q

See more recipes:

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FAQs

Should you cook matzo balls in the soup?

(Note: definitely do not cook them in your chicken soup, or the broth will become cloudy and the matzo balls will soak up all your soup!) Cover the matzo balls and simmer for 30 minutes. When you're ready to serve, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the powdered bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste.

Do you cook matzo balls in broth or water?

Additional Notes: You can cook matzo balls directly in your soup broth (which will give them excellent flavor), but it will soak up a lot of the yummy stock, leaving you with very little broth for serving.

Will matzo balls fall apart in soup?

After the ingredients have been combined, it's important to let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for the exact amount of time laid out in the recipe. If the mixture is used too soon, the matzo balls will fall apart in the cooking liquid. And if it rests too long, they could turn out tough.

How long can matzo balls sit in soup?

How long can matzo balls sit in the soup? While matzo balls can cook in the soup, they tend to cloud the chicken broth. Try not to let the matzo balls sit in the soup longer than an hour or they may begin to absorb too much of the soup and fall apart. If separated from the soup, cooked matzo balls last about 5 days.

Is matzo ball soup healthy for you?

In case you were wondering whether you should eat chicken soup when you're sick, the answer is a resounding yes. Science confirms that matzo ball soup in particular is really good for you. It may even reduce your blood pressure.

Can you overcook matzo balls?

You can not overcook your matzo balls, so if you are unsure if they are cooked or not, continue to simmer them. Let them simmer in the broth for about 30 minutes. Add the matzo balls to your broth and let them simmer. The matzo balls will expand to about 3x the size and absorb much of the liquid.

How do you know when matzo balls are done?

When you think a matzah ball might be done, take it out of the boiling water, and cut it in half with a sharp knife. The matzah balls are ready when the consistency and color are the same throughout.

What can I do with left over matzo balls?

If you have leftover full-sized matzo balls, slice them into thick rounds and pan-fry them just the same way. You may have to call them matzo ball medallions instead of matzo ball gnocchi, but they'll taste just as good.

How can I make my matzo ball mix better?

1. The great seltzer debate: A lot of matzo ball recipes will tell you to add baking powder or seltzer, which is said to curb the density of matzo balls and make them lighter and fluffier.

Why did my matzo balls sink?

Matzo balls are commonly found in a bowl of beautifully seasoned chicken broth, and depending on how they're made, they may contain enough air bubbles to cause them to float in that broth. Conversely, they may be so dense that they sink to the bottom of the bowl.

What can I use in place of schmaltz?

If schmaltz is unavailable, duck fat or rendered leaf lard are good alternatives.

Should matzo balls float?

You can get extra air into batter by using club soda instead of water, or by separating your eggs and whipping the whites separately. Letting matzoh ball batter stay longer in the fridge will generate a softer matzoh ball, more likely to float, because the matzoh meal takes up more water.

Videos

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