Matzo Ball Soup, also called Jewish penicillin, is a comforting chicken soup with tasty, fluffy matzah dumplings. It's easy to make, nourishing, and makes you feel great!
Are you looking for a delicious and comforting soup that's perfect for any occasion? Look no further than matzo ball soup!
This traditional Jewish dish is made from a simple yet flavorful chicken broth, tender vegetables, and light and fluffy matzo balls that are sure to warm your heart and satisfy your hunger.
Whether you're celebrating a holiday or just looking for a comforting meal, matzo ball soup is a perfect choice.
So why not give this classic recipe a try? We love how nourishing and comforting it is. It's a family go-to when we're feeling under the weather, too!
It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that's sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Get ready to enjoy a delicious and satisfying bowl of matzo ball soup – you won't be disappointed!
What is Matzo Ball Soup?
Matzo ball soup is a traditional Jewish soup made from chicken broth and matzo balls, which are small dumplings made from matzo meal (finely ground matzo) mixed with eggs, oil, and salt.
Matzo ball soup is typically served as a starter or main dish during Jewish holidays and other special occasions, such as Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
The soup itself is usually made by simmering chicken and/or vegetables in water to create a flavorful broth.
The matzo balls are then added to the soup and cooked until they are light and fluffy. Some variations of the soup may also include additional ingredients such as carrots, celery, onions, or herbs to enhance the flavor.
Matzo ball soup is a comforting and satisfying dish that is enjoyed by many people around the world.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Comfort food: Matzo ball soup is a warm and comforting dish that is perfect for cold weather or when you're feeling under the weather.
- Jewish holidays: Matzo ball soup is a traditional dish that is commonly served during Jewish holidays such as Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
- Cultural heritage: Making matzo ball soup is a way to connect with Jewish culture and tradition.
- Easy to make: Matzo ball soup is a simple and easy recipe that can be made with just a few ingredients.
- Healthy and nutritious: Matzo ball soup is a low-fat and low-calorie dish that is packed with nutrients and vitamins.
- Comforting for sick loved ones: Matzo ball soup is a go-to food for comforting sick loved ones, as it is easy to digest and provides warmth and nourishment.
Overall, there are many great reasons to make matzah ball soup, whether it's for its comforting qualities, cultural significance, or delicious taste.
Other names for Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup is a traditional Jewish soup that is also known by several other names, depending on the region or cultural context. Here are a few alternative names for matzo ball soup:
- Knaidlach: This is the Yiddish name for matzo balls and is often used to refer to the soup as well. Alternate transliterations of the Yiddish term includes: knaidl, knaidel, kneidl, and kneidel.
- Jewish penicillin: This nickname reflects the reputation of matzo ball soup as a healing and comforting dish that can help cure illness.
- Ball soup: In some places, matzo ball soup is simply called "ball soup," referring to the matzo balls that are the main ingredient.
- Passover soup: Since matzo ball soup is traditionally served during the Jewish holiday of Passover, it is sometimes referred to as Passover soup.
- Matzo dumpling soup: This name reflects the fact that matzo balls are essentially dumplings made from matzo meal.
You only need simple pantry ingredients for this recipe!
- Matzo Meal - Also called matzah meal or matzo flour.
- Chicken Breasts - they will be boiled in the stock and then shredded in the soup. You can use boneless or bone-in, but if they have skin, remove it.
- Chicken Broth - Store-bought or make your own chicken broth.
- Onion, carrot, celery - This standard soup base is known as a mirepoix.
- Oil or Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
- Egg - to bind the matzo balls
- Baking powder - helps to get the matzo balls fluffy.
- Salt and pepper
- Water or seltzer - you can use regular water when making the matzo balls, or seltzer to make them even lighter.
See the recipe card for quantities and method.
Brands of Matzo Meal
There are several popular brands of matzo meal available in stores and online. Here are a few examples:
- Manischewitz: This is one of the most well-known brands of matzo and matzo meal. They offer a variety of options, including plain, whole wheat, and gluten-free matzo meal.
- Streit's: Another popular brand of matzo and matzo meal, Streit's has been producing traditional Jewish foods since 1925. You've probably seen it at the grocery store!
- Yehuda: Yehuda offers a range of matzo products, including matzo meal, matzo crackers, and matzo ball mix.
- Osem: This Israeli company produces a variety of kosher food products, including matzo meal, matzo crackers, and matzo ball mix.
- Gold's: Gold's is best known for their horseradish and mustard products, but they also offer matzo meal and matzo ball mix.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find other brands in your local grocery store or online.
Follow these step-by-step instructions, then scroll down for the full ingredients list and method.
First, make your matzo balls: Add your eggs, water, and oil to a mixing bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Add your matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the oil to a pot over a medium heat, then stir in the onions, carrots and celery and fry for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for a further minute.
Add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, and water to the pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F).
Remove the chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
With wet hands, form the matzo ball dough into golf ball sized balls, about 1 ½ inches in diameter).
>> If you don't mind your finished soup being cloudy, you can add your matzo balls straight into the chicken soup.
>> If you want the soup clear, then add the matzo balls to a separate large pot of simmering water (or broth). Close the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cooked matzo balls with a slotted spoon and place them into the chicken soup to serve.
Serve with fresh parsley or dill.
Note: You can cook the matzo balls in the chicken soup, but they will turn the soup cloudy.
Scroll down for the full ingredients list and method.
Matzo ball soup is a classic dish that can be served on its own or as part of a larger meal. Here are some serving suggestions for matzo ball soup:
- Bread: Serve your soup with bread like challah or sourdough to soak up the tasty broth.
- Salad: Pair your soup with a light salad to balance out the richness of the soup. We often serve it with a simple green salad or a chopped vegetable salad with a light vinaigrette.
- Appetizer: Serve it as an appetizer to a larger meal. It's a great way to warm up your guests and get their taste buds going.
- Side dish: It can also be served as a side dish to a main course. We like to pair it with roasted chicken, brisket, or grilled fish.
- Matzo crackers: Serve your soup with a side of matzo crackers for dipping.
Overall, there are many ways to serve matzo ball soup, depending on your preferences and the occasion. With its comforting flavors and satisfying texture, it's a dish that's sure to please your whole family.
More Chicken Recipes
- Don't overwork your mixture: When shaping the matzo balls, avoid overworking the mixture or packing them too tightly. This can result in tough, dense matzo balls. Instead, gently shape the mixture into balls (not too compacted) and let them rest before adding them to the soup.
- Simmer the matzo balls gently: Once you've added the matzo balls to the soup, be sure to simmer them gently. Boiling them vigorously can cause them to break apart or become tough. Aim for a gentle simmer that will cook the matzo balls through without breaking them apart.
- If you don't mind your finished soup being cloudy, then you can cook the matzah balls right in it. If you want a clear soup, poach the balls separately in water or broth (we prefer broth!).
Matzo Ball Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 chicken breasts skinless
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
For the matzo balls
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup water or seltzer
- ¼ cup oil canola, vegetable, or schmaltz - rendered chicken fat
- 1 cup matzo meal
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- First, make the matzo balls.
- Add eggs, water, and oil to a mixing bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Add the matzo meal, baking powder, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the oil to a pot over a medium heat, then stir in the onions, carrots and celery and fry for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for a further minute.
- Add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, and water to the pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F).
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- With wet hands, form the matzo ball dough into golf ball sized balls, about 1 ½ inches diameter).
- >> If you don't mind your finished soup being cloudy, you can add your matzo balls straight into the chicken soup.
- >> If you want the soup clear, then add the matzo balls to a separate large pot of simmering water (or broth). Close the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cooked matzo balls with a slotted spoon and place them into the chicken soup to serve.
- Serve with fresh parsley or dill.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.