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Matzo (Matzah) Ball Soup

Simmered with some aromatic vegetables in a flavorful homemade chicken stock, matzo balls are delicious little dumplings made from matzo meal, egg whites, chicken fat and parsley. Matzo ball soup is a traditional and much-loved part of the Passover Seder, and a treat for chicken soup lovers any time of year.

Matzo (Matzah) Ball Soup

Matzo (Matzah) Ball Soup

  • For the homemade chicken stock:
  • 4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 stalks of celery, leaves attached, cut into thirds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered (unpeeled)
  • 1 core from a small head of cabbage
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, smashed (unpeeled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 10 cups water
  • For the matzah balls:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat, softened
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chicken stock
  • For the finished soup:
  • 8 cups stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced

Prepare the stock:
Combine the carrots, celery, onion, cabbage core, garlic, salt, peppercorns, parsley and water in a large pot. Add the chicken and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer. Skim off any of the froth that rises to the surface over the first 10 minutes or so. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer slowly for 1-1/2 hours.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the chicken from the bone, discard the skin, shred the meat and reserve. Strain the stock, discard the solids and chill completely. Remove the fat that solidifies on top of the stock, reserving 2 tablespoons for the matzo balls. Freeze the remaining fat for another use if desired.

Make the matzo balls:
Bring your homemade chicken stock (about 8 cups) to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place the eggs and egg white in a bowl and whisk until lightly beaten. Add the chicken fat, matzah meal, salt and chopped parsley and combine well. Add the stock, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a moist dough. Place a bowl of water next to your work area and, using wet hands, form the matzo mixture into 1-1/2-inch balls.

One at a time, drop the matzo balls into the simmering stock. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add the carrots, celery and cabbage. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes longer. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Makes 8 servings

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