So good your bubbe might ask for seconds
There’s nothing quite like matzo balls bobbing in rich, chicken broth—it wouldn’t be Passover without them. Matzo Ball Soup is a beloved part of our Passover menu (the menu is not kosher, but it does feature ceremonial seder plates, complete seder meals, and plenty of a la carte options, too), but we enjoy it at other times of the year as well. And now, you can enjoy our Matzo Ball Soup any time the urge strikes, because we’re sharing our recipe with you!
Matzo Ball Soup is a classic, and our recipe is, too. As Ari says, the chicken broth we’ve been making at the Deli for 40 years now is pretty much like what his grandmother used to make. We have made one slight tweak to our Matzo Balls though, a few years ago we were introduced to The Matzo Project, a Brooklyn-based company that set out to create a new take on the Jewish food staple. Their small-batch, artisan matzo crumbs took our matzo balls over the top, and we’ve never turned back!
As you might imagine, we make huge batches of matzo balls and chicken broth at the Deli, so we’ve not only scaled back our recipe but simplified it a bit, too. For instance, we simmer our chicken broth for 8 hours(!), but have trimmed that back so you’re not spending all day hovering over your stove. (And, if you’d rather skip the broth-making entirely, we’ve got you covered.) Rodger Bowser, one of the managing partners of the Deli, notes that we use schmaltz (chicken fat) in the matzo balls that we make in our kitchen. That can sometimes be hard to come by, so we’ve lightly adapted The Matzo Project’s recipe here, which aside from the lack of schmaltz, is very similar to ours.
Zingerman’s Deli Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
Chicken bones from 2 cooked chicken, meat removed for another use
4 carrots, halved
2 onions, halved
4 celery ribs, halved
2 bay leaves
6 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
4 whole black peppercorns
6 cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (see Tips from The Matzo Project below!)
1 package of The Matzo Project Matzo Ball Mix
Make the chicken broth
- Add all of the ingredients to a large stockpot.
- Add enough water to the stockpot to cover all of the ingredients, at least 6 cups. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain the simmered stock through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the solids, and reserve 6 cups of broth for the soup, if you come up a little short, don’t worry, just make up the difference with water!
Make the matzo balls & the soup
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. (See the tip below to tweak your matzo balls!)
- Add the bag of matzo crumbs to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- While the matzo mixture is chilling, bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Wet your hands and gently form the matzo mixture into 8 to 12 walnut-sized matzo balls. Gently add the matzo balls to the broth (taking care not to splash yourself with boiling broth!), cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Tips from The Matzo Project
Make the matzo balls your own: If you fall for fluffy, floating matzo balls, add an additional tablespoon of oil; if you swoon for hearty sinkers, only use 3 tablespoons of oil. If you’re a fan of herbs, add chopped parsley, chives, or dill into the matzo ball mixture.
Give your soup a kick in the pants: If you like a little heat, sprinkle a little cayenne pepper into the stock before adding in your matzo balls.
Storage: Stock can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 4 months. Cooked matzo balls can be stored in the refrigerator, separate from the broth, for up to 4 days.