Classic Matzoh Ball Soup

If you’ve never had ‘Jewish Penicillin’, then you are in for a treat!  This classic matzoh ball soup has tender, rich matzoh balls in flavorful homemade chicken stock.  This recipe is a weekend project, but it serves a lot of people, freezes beautifully, and is well worth the effort.

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Bowl of homemade classic matzoh ball soup with carrots and dill.

I like to serve this soup with a delicious Autumn Salad and a sweet slice of Jewish Honey Cake.


The short answer is YES!  Absolutely!  

  • Use boxed chicken stock and save a majority of the time taken to make your own stock.  You can give it more of a homemade flavor by adding a ¼ -½ teaspoon of poultry seasoning.
  • There is a matzoh ball mix that isn’t bad, especially if you use some schmaltz to mix into it.
  • You can even buy schmaltz already made.  It’s an okay product and definitely works in a pinch.

Bowl of homemade classic matzoh ball soup with carrots and dill.


  • Feel free to get chicken parts, especially if you aren’t using the meat for the soup.  I’ve used wings, backs, and necks with outstanding results.  Plus, those parts are super cheap!
  • You can often find small packets of fresh poultry seasoning in the produce section that includes just enough of the thyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • Not a dill fan? Parsley is delicious in this soup or leave it out altogether
  • Don’t add the white wine to your stock. It tends to add a bitter note when it cooks so long.  Not sure why.  I like to add the wine to the stock when I am ready to serve the soup.  Bringing the stock to a boil evaporates the wine and leaves a beautiful flavor to the broth.

More soup recipes to try:

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Bowl of homemade classic matzoh ball soup with carrots and dill.



What’s more comforting than a big bowl of Classic Matzoh Ball Soup with homemade stock, schmaltz, matzoh balls, and the soup.  Worth the effort and crave-worthy!



For the chicken stock:

  • 3 (5 pounds each) roasting chickens, cut into pieces
  • 3 large onions, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 6 large carrots, halved 
  • 4 celery stalks, with the leaves, cut in pieces
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • 15 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Bunch of fresh dill
  • Bunch of fresh sage
  • 1 large head of garlic, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt

For the schmaltz:

  • 34 cups chicken fat and skin
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half

For the matzoh balls:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup chicken schmaltz
  • 1 tablespoon + ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 ⅓ cups matzo meal

For the soup:

  • Homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • Small bunch of dill, chopped


Start making the stock:

In a 20 quart stockpot, place the chicken pieces, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, dill, sage, salt, and peppercorns.  Pour in 7 quarts of water.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, remove the cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 4-5 hours.  Use a slotted spoon to skim off any foam that comes up to the top.

If you want to use the breast meat from the chickens, remove the breasts from the stock after an hour and a half with a slotted spoon.  Remove the skins and the chicken from the bones.  Return the skin and bones back to the stock and continue to cook.

Chop the chicken and use it as needed in other recipes or to use it in the soup, if desired.

After 5 hours. Strain the stock through a colander and discard the solids.  You can skim off the fat if desired or if time allows, cool the stock and place in large bowls.  Refrigerate overnight and the next day, peel off the layer of fat.  Save the fat if making schmaltz.

Meanwhile, make the schmaltz.  

In a heavy bottom, stainless steel pot over medium heat, place all the chicken skin and fat.  Stir, cooking until the skin and fat render most of their fat.

Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring very often, until the scraps are very golden brown and crunchy, but not burnt.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Line a mesh colander with coffee filters and strain the schmaltz into a large bowl.

Pour the schmaltz into a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator. 

You can disregard the crispy chicken skin or eat them as a treat (Jews call them gribenes).

Make the matzoh balls.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk.

Add the schmaltz, salt, and pepper and whisk until very well combined.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in the matzo meal until all the meal is incorporated and the dough is very stiff.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a Dutch oven about ¾ of the way full with water  Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Wet your hands with cold water to keep the dough fr.  Shape about 2 heaping teaspoons of dough into a ball about 1 ¼-inches in diameter.  Keep in mind that they will double in size when they are cooked.

Place the balls on a cookie sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray and cover them with a tea towel.  Repeat with remaining dough and place the balls onto the cookie sheet and cover with the towel.

Use a wire spider to carefully place one matzo ball at a time into the boiling water.  When all of the balls have been added, lower the heat so the water simmers, but doesn’t boil when the pot is covered.

Cook for 25 minutes until the balls are firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the homemade stock and wine up to a slow boil.

Add the carrots and dill.  Allow the pot to simmer until the carrots are just tender, about 20 minutes.

Add in the cooked matzoh balls and simmer until they are hot.

Use a wire spider to remove one matzoh ball to each serving bowl and ladle broth around the matzoh ball.

Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour + chilling time
  • Cook Time: 6 1/2 hours
  • Category: Starters - Soups
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Jewish

Keywords: classic matzoh ball soup, Jewish food, soup recipes, matzoh recipes, soup for dinner

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