How to make my Bubbe’s Matzah Ball Soup- Jewish penicillin at its finest! It’s the best. Plus, here are my tips for the best matzah ball soup.
It’s a cold (read: 50 degrees) and rainy Sunday here in Austin. Brrr!! But could you ask for better soup weather? I think not. My Bubbe makes a killer matzah ball soup. It borders on magical- at the mere mention of sickness, Bubbe swoops in with her soup in hand, and all your sniffles just melt away. This recipe is just perfect- a flavorful broth and a light ball (hehe), as opposed to some heavier, dense matzah ball recipes. I went all out and made my own stock too- just like Bubbe. Totally worth it! But feel free to use substandard pre-made stock.
I didn’t think I could top the gross raw chicken photos from last week, but somehow I managed to do it! Yeah for me! Making stock is a dirty business.
You can add whatever goodness you see fit- parsnips and garlic would be two tasty additions.
First, put the chicken in a big stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, remove any white schmutz that floats to the top, and then reduce to medium-low heat and add the remaining ingredients. Cover lightly (with a vent) and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken from the pot and leave the liquid behind. Shred cooled chicken, refrigerate until ready to use, and put the skin and bones back into the pot. Simmer covered (with a vent) for an additional 2-3 hours, skimming off any white schmutz. Strain the stock and throw away the stuff, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Now that you have your stock, let’s make some balls!
Take the seltzer, and mix it with the eggs. Yummy. Now, the moment we have been waiting for. The matzo meal.
Then add in grated onions, oil (or schmaltz), salt, pepper, baking powder (the secret to light balls hehe) and matzo meal, dill if desired. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes so it isn’t as sticky. While your mixture is chilling, chop up the veggies of your choice. Bubbe likes carrots, celery and parsnips. And what Bubbe says, goes. Why mess with perfection.
Just like Bubbe makes. Maybe even better, but don’t tell Bubbe I said that.
Matzah Ball and Chicken Soup
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil or schmaltz
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons seltzer
- 1 1/2 cups matzo meal
- 1/4 cup grated onion dried well
- 1 teaspoon baking powder this gives you light and fluffy balls.
- ½ teaspoon salt or 1/4 teaspoon if using salted schmaltz
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 10 cups stock (recipe below)
- 3 carrots diced or cut into rounds
- 3 parsnips diced or cut into rounds
- 3 celery stocks diced or cut into slices
- 1 pound chicken cooked and shredded (from the broth!)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh parsley or dill for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, schmaltz and seltzer.
- Then add matzo meal, onions, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix with a large spoon just until combined. Do not overmix.
- The mixture will be sticky, so refrigerate batter for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours so it is not as sticky.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Shape the matzo mixture into 25 or so 1-inch balls, and place in the water. Do not overwork. I make all the balls first, and then place in the water so they cook evenly. Wetting your hands slightly helps keep them from sticking. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until puffed up and cooked through.
- Heat up your broth separately and then, add carrots, parsnips, celery and any other veggies you choose and chicken, and simmer covered for 10 minutes until the veggies are tender. Serve with balls!
- Add salt to taste and garnish with parsley or dill.
- 4-5 pound whole chicken with neck and giblets removed (they come that way, so don't worry you don't have to go giblet diving unless you'd like to), plus
- 1 pound chicken wings
- 6 quarts water (24 cups)
- 6 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 1 yellow onion, cut into eighths (I keep the skin on)
- 3 celery stocks, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 2 parsnips, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch dill
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- Put the whole chicken and wings in a large stockpot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, remove any white schmutz that floats to the top, and then reduce to medium-low heat and add the remaining ingredients.
- Cover lightly (with a vent) and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked.
- Remove chicken from the pot and leave the liquid and other stuff behind. Shred cooled chicken, refrigerate until ready to use, and put the skin and bones back into the pot.
- Simmer covered (with a vent) for an additional 2-3 hours, skimming off any white schmutz. Strain the stock and throw away the stuff, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Oy what I wouldn’t do for a bowl of this soup. It cures everything!!!!!! Inhale!!!!
I will save you some, Bubbe!
Dawn (HealthySDLiving) says
I love this!! I’d really like to try this recipe – I’ve always wanted to make my own and this looks amazing!
Your Bubbe is so cute, Oy! I love that! 🙂
Thanks, Dawn! It was really tasty, and pretty easy too. Just takes a bit of time. My Bubbe is the cutest! 🙂
Your last two blogs are making me miss meat BIG TIME! Looks yum 🙂
Thanks, Maura! Those two recipes happen to be very vegetarian friendly- simply substitute the meat for tofu or beans, or omit it all together. Voila!
Holy mackerel, I know what I’m making on my day off tomorrow! Looking at these pictures I can almost smell my grandfather’s kitchen. I loved the smell of matzoh ball soup cooking when I walked into their house. This soup is one of my all time favorite comfort foods.
Oh, and I love your blog’s name BTW! Glad I found your blog and I will be back again soon.
Thanks for the props! I can confirm this soup smells delicious. Enjoy your day off- making matzah ball soup, catching up on Judge Judy (I’m guessing). Sounds like the best day ever!
Love your recipe and pictures…My recipe is almost the same, but my bubbe added white carrot parsnip in the stock part.
Have you ever tried adding a quartered sweet potato to your stock? I tried it and it is great!!!!
Thanks, Gloria! I LOVE your ideas. I am going to try to add parsnips and sweet potatoes to my stock next time. And there will be a next time- this soup is addicting!
What spices do you use for the broth???
Amy Kritzer says
Hi Andrea- I’m not sure what you mean! Besides what’s in the recipe?
es increible sos la primer persona que le dice bube a la abuela igual q yo .que lindooooo
Gracias por lectura. Tenga un buen dia, Adriana!
While reading your blog this evening, I looked more closely at this recipe. I started cooking my soup and hour before I read this tonight-but not too late to follow some of your process! I usually put my chicken in first, cook it to boiling, skim off that weird stuff, and then add my onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnip etc. and simmer for about an hour. Then I strain everything out. I’m trying your method of just taking the chicken out, stripping off the meat, and putting the skins and bones back into cook with already cooked vegetables for another hour so that will mean the veggies cooked for two hours. Thank you for the tip! It also means I get to smell cooking soup for another hour so it’s all good!
Haha! Let me know how it turns out!
I’m in the making matzo balls phase now! Are your balls fluffy or firm? My family likes rock hard so when you cut them they want to fly out of the bowl…I want to make something in between so you can cut them and they stay IN the bowl! I don’t like fluffy much though,….what is your preference?
I would say my balls are more firm (*wink*) but definitely not rock hard. I like them dense better than fluffy too! Otherwise they get too mushy in the soup.
Can’t wait to try this recipe! I stumbled upon it when I was trying to find a good delicatesan in Austin/Round Rock/Pflugerville . . . have you found anything?
Thanks! I haven’t found a thing. There was Manny Hattans which wasn’t that good and it recently closed anyways. Let me know if you stumble upon something!
I made this for my Jewish next door neighbor. He gave it two thumbs up! Thanks for making this an easy recipe for me to tackle. I’m going to make the French Toast Callah next!
Amy Kritzer says
Awesome! Glad you both enjoyed it. Coincidentally I am making some matzah ball soup today as well! I’m going to update these lame-o photos.
I really loved your homemade matzos, I’ve always just used the mix…..but I always have the problem that my stock reduces down too much and I usually add some extra water, when do you think I should add it so that it doesn’t sacrifice flavor
Amy Kritzer says
What I would do is cook the matzah balls in water and then add them to the stock- that way you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for volume!
Slone Ranger says
This recipe is awesome! We made the soup last night, and it was easy and delicious. Many thanks!
Amy Kritzer says
Dianne J. Powell says
Hi Amy – although I am not Jewish I have such fond memories of my Jewish step-aunt, Dora Barish, making her magic in the kitchen. I, to this day, have never seen anyone match the golden color of her chicken soup and it’s deliciousness. And her matzo balls? I could go on and on.
She is the reason I found your site. Thanks for all the wonderful dishes I have made because of being able to see your and your Bubba’s recipes.
Amy Kritzer says
Thank you for sharing! That is so wonderful to hear. Maybe she added turmeric to her soup for a bolder color?
Ellie N says
Now I know why my Grandmas matzo balls were hard. (No baking powder) We always joked u could bounce them off a wall . No one I’ve met had them like ours which had a little cinnamon & ginger in them. That makes the color darker too. Grandma Rose told me it was ashkenizi way but askenazi Jewish friends like myself never heard of that. Anyway that’s how I make mine & if I buy some soup from a fundraiser I always add cinnamon to mine. Ty for reminding me of parsnips I had forgotten. Carrots. Celery. Parsley in my soup. I can’t remb if I put onion but it couldn’t hurt so I’ll add this year. The memories of family Seder are very long ago but not forgotten. Happy Passover 🙂
Amy Kritzer says
Thanks for sharing!