I can vividly remember sitting in my Nana’s dining room and anxiously awaiting the first course of most holiday meals. It was a bowl of homemade matzo ball soup and it always tasted like home to me.
A couple of years ago, since I was a pescatarian, I shared my vegetarian matzo ball recipe. I realized recently, when our cousin asked me for my chicken soup recipe, that I had never shared the chicken soup version on here… until now!
While this recipe isn’t exactly like my Nana’s recipe, I would say that this one is a close 2nd. It’s the soup that I make when any one of us is feeling under the weather or when we have a special holiday to celebrate. This year, I’ll be making my matzo ball soup for Passover.
When you think of homemade chicken soup, you may think that it’s a long process that takes too long and is difficult to make. In fact, it’s actually fairly easy. Most of the time is spent on the stove, and it’s something you can put together in the morning and get the rest of your daily tasks done.
Homemade chicken soup is made in two steps. First, you make the broth with fresh chicken, vegetables and spices. Next, you add the soup ingredients. I promise that once you make it, you’ll never go back to canned soups again.
The easiest way I’ve found, when it comes to the chicken, is to check your local grocery store for whole, cut up chicken. If they don’t have it readily available, you can usually ask your butcher to cut it into pieces for you (breast, thigh, drumstick, wings). I usually disgard the extra parts, but you can absolutely add those to the pot for extra flavor if you’d like.
The vegetables are up to you. I choose to use the same ones that my Nana used, including parsnip. If you’ve never tried parsnip, the best way I can describe it is a white, sweeter version of a carrot.
The veggies that you use to make the matzo ball soup broth are going to soak in the flavor for a full four hours. That’s actually my favorite part. While I wait for the soup to cool in the refrigerator, I eat those veggies. They are soft and so delicious!
You’ll want to use fresh dill instead of dried. It will make all the difference. I tend to use an entire package between the broth and the finished soup.
For the matzo balls, you can just buy the matzo ball mix. That’s honestly the easiest way to make them. Just follow the instructions on the box.
If you are just looking for a homemade chicken soup recipe, just skip the matzo balls and follow the rest of the instructions! You can even add some little noodles if you’d like. My Nana loved adding noodles to hers!
Now that you know a little bit about this matzo ball soup, I’m excited to share our recipe.
Matzo Ball Soup
A classic family favorite, packed with veggies, chicken, and lots of fresh dill. Perfect for the holidays or when you need some comfort food.
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 large onion, whole and peeled
- 2 stalks of celery with leaves
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 large parsnip, peeled
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 5 black peppercorns
- 6 cubes chicken bouillon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup sliced parsnip
- chopped chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Matzo meal / matzo ball mix
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- In a large pot combine chicken broth, whole chicken, onion, celery with leaves, fresh parsley, fresh dill, parsnip, peppercorns, bouillon, bay leaf, celery seed, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 hours.
- Strain stock and set aside whole veggies (we love to eat those while we wait for the soup).
- Remove chicken and chop the breast into bite-sized pieces. Be careful, it’s hot!
- Place soup in a refrigerator-safe container for a few hours. When you remove it, skim the fat off of the top and return the broth to your pan.
- Stir in chopped chicken, sliced veggies, and spices.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix eggs, vegetable oil, and matzo meal. Stir with a fork until evenly mixed.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt (optional).
- Remove chilled mixture from the refrigerator.
- Wet hands and form batter into balls, approx. 1-2 inches in diameter (depending on how big you like them).
- Drop matzo balls into boiling water.
- Cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Drain and add matzo balls to each bowl and fill it with soup.
- Top with fresh dill.
If you make my matzo ball soup, we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you post it on social media, we’d love for you to tag @thesupermomlife! Don’t forget to check out all of our family-friendly recipes!