Recipe courtesy of Ruth Taube

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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Chicken Soup:

1 pound thinly cut kosher short ribs (see Cook's Note)

One 2- to 3-pound kosher pullet chicken (a roaster will also work), quartered and skin removed (see Cook's Note)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

5 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thirds

1 medium onion, peeled

1 medium turnip, peeled and quartered

Matzo Balls:

8 jumbo eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups matzo meal

Kosher salt

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 4-inch sticks


  1. For the chicken soup: Cut each short rib in half and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Add the chicken, salt and 4 quarts water. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming off the foam occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnips, onion and turnip and bring back to a boil; reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook until the chicken and ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain, saving the chicken and short ribs for another purpose, and discarding all other solids. Let the soup cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 2 months.
  2. For the matzo balls: Add 4 cups water to a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, oil and salt. Stir in the matzo meal, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is thickened and still slightly wet. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a spoon, scoop out about a 1/2 cup of the dough. Form balls by gently pressing and rolling each scoop of dough in the palm of your hand until you have a smooth matzo ball. Add the balls to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the balls are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the matzo balls with a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve until ready to use.
  4. Heat the prepared chicken broth. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. Ladle some of the chicken broth in a bowl, add 1 or 2 matzo balls and garnish with 2 carrot sticks.

Cook’s Note

Kosher short ribs, sometimes labeled as "flanken," are soaked and salted. A kosher pullet is a hen that has been soaked and salted. Both can be found in most kosher grocery stores.

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