Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

traditional hard matzo ball soup

★★★★★ 2
a recipe by
Pamela Rappaport
The Villages, FL

When I married my Jewish husband 28 years ago, his mother taught me to make "real" matzo ball soup. She said the fluffy kind you get in a deli isn't the real deal. I'm not jumping into the middle of the debate. I just want to share with you the way to make "hard" matzo ball chicken soup. We've got to pass these things down, right?

Blue Ribbon Recipe

There is a real richness to this matzo ball soup thanks to the homemade chicken broth. We loved the texture of the matzo balls. Make sure to get a bit of chicken, some noodles, and matzo ball onto your spoon... it's a heavenly bite. If the noodles absorb a lot of the broth, add a little extra store-bought chicken broth and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, and taste for salt and pepper. This is a comforting soup that'll cure anything that ails you.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 2
serves 6
prep time 25 Min
cook time 3 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For traditional hard matzo ball soup

  • 1
    whole chicken, sometimes I use thighs
  • 2
    stalks celery, broken in the middle
  • 1/2
    onion, don't bother to chop
  • 3
    large carrots, cut in half
  • 1
    clove garlic, leave it whole and drop it in
  • 6 c
    water or enough to cover the chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz
    thin egg noodles
  • 6
    pieces lightly salted matzo, crushed
  • water
  • 1
  • 1 Tbsp
    oil or chicken fat if you want to be authentic
  • matzo meal

How To Make traditional hard matzo ball soup

  • Ingredients in a large pot.
    Place everything for the soup except the noodles into a large stock pot.
  • Soup simmering on the stove.
    Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until meat is very tender.
  • Crushed matzos in a bowl.
    To make the matzo balls, place the crushed matzo in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak 30 minutes.
  • Straining the soaked matzos.
    After soaking, drain the matzo well. I place them in a large mesh sieve over a bowl to drip and press on them some. Set aside.
  • Separating the meat from the cooked chicken.
    Once chicken is done, remove it and de-bone.
  • Cooked celery sliced.
    Discard the celery, onion, and garlic. I usually slice the carrots into the finished soup.
  • Straining the broth.
    Strain the broth if you want a pretty soup.
  • Chicken broth back in the pot.
    Put it back into the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Adding salt to a pot of water.
    Start a pot of plain water to boil. Add salt.
  • Mix the matzo with the egg, oil, and matzo meal.
    Mix the matzo with the egg, oil, and enough matzo meal to make it hold together. It will be a stiff dough.
  • Forming into balls.
    Form into balls.
  • Boiling the matzo balls.
    Drop the matzo balls into the simmering plain water. They will float when done, about 8-10 min.
  • Draining the matzo balls.
  • Matzo balls covered to keep warm.
    Cover to keep warm.
  • Adding the egg noodles to the boiling broth.
    Cook the egg noodles in the broth.
  • Adding carrots to the broth.
    Add the chicken and carrots back to the broth.
  • Spooning the matzo ball soup into a bowl.
    To serve, place one or two matzo balls in a bowl and spoon the soup over.