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from "Celebrate!" by Sheila Lukins

Every culture has its dumpling, from our Southern hush puppies to Chinese won-tons and Italian gnocchi. And every culture has a way of serving dumplings in broth or soup. Matzoh balls, which soak up the rich bouquet of deep amber chicken soup, are the dumpling of my heritage.

Serves 8

For the Matzoh Balls
12 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup rendered chicken fat (see Note)
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups matzoh meal
My Mother's Chicken Soup (recipe follows), for serving
8 small sprigs fresh dill, for garnish

For the Soup
1 stewing hen (5 1/2 to 6 pounds), rinsed, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
2 onions, quartered
4 ribs celery with leaves, cut in half
4 parsnips, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and quartered
12 sprigs fresh dill, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves

Print Print recipe

1. Combine the egg yolks, chicken fat, salt and pepper in a bowl and blend with an electric mixer.
2. Place the egg whites in another bowl, and using clean beaters, beat them until they are stiff.
3. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
4. Fold in the matzoh meal, using just enough so that the balls hold together.
5. Form the mixture into 20 balls the size of large plums and place them on a large platter.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the matzo balls into the water in batches, using a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the balls float and are enlarged and delicate, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the balls from the water and drain them on paper towels.
7. When you are ready to serve it, place the chicken soup over medium heat. Add the matzoh balls and heat through for the flavors to blend, 10-15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place 2 matzoh balls in each soup bowl. Ladle the soup over it, and garnish with a dill sprig.

My Mother's Chicken Soup

My mother, Berta, is the Chicken Soup Queen of All Time. As would every great cook, she will tell you, "It starts with using the best-quality ingredients." It takes a little longer and costs a little more to make a soup this way, but what flavor! Fluffy Matzoh Balls and fresh dill finish it off to perfection.

1.Place the chicken pieces in a large soup pot. Add 10 cups water and the coarse salt and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
2.Add the onions, celery, parsnips, carrots, and dill sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken and vegetables are tender, 1 hour.
3.Transfer the chicken to a bowl and use the meat elsewhere if desired (it will be tough). Strain the broth through a medium-fine strainer into a large bowl, pressing the vegetables and dill through the strainer with the back of a spoon. If not using immediately, let the soup cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it, covered, for up to 2 days, or freeze it.
4.To serve, first remove any fat that has accumulated on the surface. Then return the soup to a pot and stir in the chopped dill. Heat through.
Note To render chicken fat, place the fat, cut into small pieces, in a skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat has melted. Cool slightly and then strain, discarding the bits of chicken skin. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Yehuda Matzos Jerusalem Cake Meal - $3.99/ea
  Empire Kosher Broiler Chicken, Raised w/o Antibiotics - $3.99/lb
  Dill - $3.99/ea
 approx. 4oz
  White Onion, Large - $1.99/lb
  Ocean Mist Farms Celery - $4.99/ea
 approx. 1lb
  Cal-Organic Organic Carrots - $1.49/ea
 approx. 1lb
  Parsnips - $2.99/lb
  Nature's Yoke Natural Cage-Free Large White Eggs - $3.99/ea
 1 dozen
You May Already Have
  David's Kosher Salt - $3.19/ea
  Just FreshDirect Tellicherry Peppercorns (Refill) - $4.99/ea
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