Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Here’s the classic soup to cure the common cold, ward off evil spirits and bring you to nirvana…Only kidding! But this soup is the real thing and you will feel like your grandmother was in the kitchen with you when the aroma of this cooking soup wafts through the air.

All kidding aside, this is the classic recipe for chicken soup. The o­nly thing you might want to change is your family’s choice of herb. We always used dill. My best friend’s family always used thyme. I guess that’s the difference between a Litvak and a Hungarian!

Add your favorite matzo balls AFTER the soup has been made and strained and NEVER cook your matzo balls in the soup. You can reheat matzo balls in the soup but if you cook them in it they will absorb lots of the soup and make the remaining soup cloudy.


  • 1 4-5 pound fowl or yearling (soup chicken), roaster will do
  • 5 quarts water or water to cover
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 large o­nion, peeled but left whole
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves cut into thirds
  • 3 or more carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch lengths
  • Fresh dill, 3 or more sprigs to taste
  • Fresh parsley, 2 sprigs or more if parsnip isn’t being used
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into pieces. Place pieces in a large soup pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes skimming the top of the liquid of all the brown foam.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a low heat until the chicken is quite tender and the vegetables are soft, about 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Discard the dill and parsley. Remove the vegetables to nibble o­n and save the carrot for later use in the soup. Strain the soup so that it is nice and clear.
  5. Place the soup in a clean pot and add the carrots and cooked matzo balls and heat until nice and hot. Serve.
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  1. how do i make the matza balls

  2. If making them from scratch, check my book or my website. If making them from the mix, which are very good, follow the package directions.

  3. It would be nice if this recipe told you how many servings it makes.

  4. The recipe makes about 2 quarts of soup (depending on your pot and how much water you actually added). that said, you will get 8-12 servings per recipe depending on the size of your soup bowl (maybe even more if you are serving the soup with matzo balls and part of an elaborate Seder meal. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  5. Pingback: Passover Boot Camp: How to Make Chicken Soup | SideDish

  6. Made this for my wife this past winter. She INHALED it. Superb soup. Quit kvetching…make the soup already.

  7. Pingback: Passover Boot Camp: How to Make Matzah Balls | SideDish

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