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The Ultimate Matzo Ball Soup

March 18, 2021
The Ultimate Matzo Ball Soup

Historically, matzo is the symbolic food of Passover. But let’s be honest: Matzo ball soup is the holiday’s truly iconic dish.

Featured in: How To Make the Ultimate Matzo Ball Soup


For the Soup

  • 1large chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 2large onions, unpeeled
  • 4parsnips
  • 2stalks celery and their leaves
  • 6carrots
  • 6tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6tablespoons snipped dill
  • 1tablespoon salt
  • ¼teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the Matzo Balls

  • 4large eggs
  • 4tablespoons schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or vegetable oil 4 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1cup matzo meal
  • ¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2tablespoons finely chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro
  • 1teaspoon salt, more for cooking
  • ¼teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


To make the The Ultimate Matzo Ball Soup

  • Step 1

    Put the chicken and enough water to cover by two inches, about 4 quarts, in a large pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim off the froth as it rises to the top.

  • Step 2

    Add the onions, parsnips, celery, carrots, parsley, 4 tablespoons of the dill, and the salt and pepper. Half-cover and simmer for at least an hour and up to 2 hours, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight so the liquid solidifies. When the fat rises to the top, skim it off and reserve for the matzo balls.

  • Step 3

    To make the matzo balls, using a spoon, gently mix the eggs, schmaltz, stock, matzo meal, nutmeg, ginger, and parsley, dill, or cilantro in a large bowl. Season with salt and 2-3 grinds of the pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour or overnight.

  • Step 4

    To shape and cook the matzo balls, bring a wide, deep pot of lightly salted water to a boil. With wet hands, take some of the mix and mold it into the size and shape of a golf ball. Gently drop it into the boiling water, repeating until all the mix is used.

  • Step 5

    Cover the pan, reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook for about 20 minutes for al dente matzo balls, closer to 45 for lighter matzo balls. To test their readiness, remove one with a slotted spoon and cut in half. The matzo ball should be the same color and texture throughout.

  • Step 6

    Just before serving, strain the soup, setting aside the chicken for chicken salad and discarding the vegetables, and reheat the broth. Spoon a matzo ball into each bowl, pour soup over matzo ball, and sprinkle with the remaining snipped dill.