Have a rice day! This comforting Greek soup plus matzo balls = extra comforting! Chicken Lemon Rice Matzo Ball Soup is so simple to make and full of flavor.
We could all use a little comfort food right now, right? This Chicken Lemon Rice Matzo Ball Soup is made from pantry staples that you probably have around! Perfect for Passover, or really anytime you want a comforting meal.
I got inspired to make this soup last time we were in Detroit visiting Andrew’s family. It was winter, so cold, and we had a few cocktails and we looking for some late-night eats. If you haven’t been to Detroit, you’re missing out on an amazing food scene. There is some legit Thai food, dim sum, and Greek food. We were nearby a Leo’s Coney Island, known for the Coney Island Hot Dog, a hot dog topped with ground beef, onions and yellow mustard. They even have a kosher version! But it also has a Greek menu from gyros to Greek salad to Chicken Lemon Rice Soup aka Avgolemono. I was cold, and I LOVE soup of all kind, so it was calling to me. Guys. This soup was so good. Thick and a little tart with chunks of chicken. I immediately thought- wouldn’t this be great with matzo balls?! Chicken Lemon Rice Matzo Ball Soup was born.
Rabbis have declared it a-okay for Ashkenazi Jews to eat rice (and beans and corn) on Passover now, but I understand that may be weird for you. So there is no reason you can’t have this soup the other 357 other days of the year! Though you may not want it on the hottest July day, but I digress.
Almost everything you need! I started with sauteed onion because it adds flavor and smells AMAZING. Everyone will know you’re cooking up something good.
That matzah meal goodness.
The best. I put a little lemon zest in the matzah balls for even more flavor.
Ta da! This soup tastes so impressive, no one will realize how easy it was to make.
Dill would also make a really good garnish here, but my supermarket didn’t have any, so parsley or cilantro are good substitutes. Use what you’ve got!
This Chicken Lemon Rice Matzo Ball Soup would be perfect for snuggling on the couch while binge-watching Love is Blind. Hypothetically speaking of course. You could also leave the chicken out and make it vegetarian! Up to you.
One bowl for me, and one for you.
- For Matzah Balls:
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or schmaltz
- 3 tablespoons seltzer
- ¾ cups matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons grated onion, dried well
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (this gives you light and fluffy balls. Add more up to ½ teaspoon for even lighter balls)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or ⅛ teaspoon if using salted schmaltz)
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- For Soup:
- 1 tablespoon oil or schmaltz
- ½ white onion, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth too)
- ½ cup rice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup shredded chicken
- Garnish with lemon zest and dill or parsley
- First, let's prep the matzah balls. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, schmaltz/oil and seltzer.
- Then add matzo meal, onions, baking powder, salt and pepper and lemon zest. Mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
- The mixture will be sticky, so refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours so it is not as sticky and you can form the matzah balls!
- When you're ready to make the matzah balls bring a large stock pot of salted water a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, start the soup. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or schmaltz in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add onions. Saute for 5 minutes or so until translucent. Make sure not to burn the onions.
- Add 4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Add rice, cover and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Check on it once and stir to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Meanwhile, shape the matzo mixture into 12-15 1-inch balls, and place in the water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. The balls should float and look light!
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and eggs. When the rice is cooked, add a little at a time to the egg mixture to temper it. This is so the eggs don't scramble when you add it to the soup, but just thicken the soup. After adding about ¼ cup of soup to the egg mixture, add it back into the soup and stir to combine. Add the chicken and simmer until thick and the chicken is warm.
- Add salt to taste and serve with matzah balls and garnish with parsley or dill.