Jewish Penicillin: Chicken and Matzoh Ball Soup



  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
  • 3-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Bouquet garni (tie kitchen twine around a few sprigs of thyme, dill, and parsley)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white cooking wine (like a cheap chardonnay)
  • chicken bouillon (optional)
  • kosher salt (this is Jewish penicillin, let’s keep it kosher)

Matzoh Balls

  • 1 cup Matzoh Meal
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt, white pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of soup liquid or water


  1. Clean chicken and remove guts.
  2. Place chicken in stock pot and cover with water.  Add about 2 tablespoons of salt.  Boil water, then turn down heat to a fairly high simmer.  Skim the foamy “scum” that appears as the fat renders by using a mesh hand held strainer or slotted spoon.  Boil chicken until juices run clear, about 90 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken, reserving stock.  Add vegetable, bouillon (if using) and bouquet garni to stock, along with 2 bay leaves.  Skim fat ast needed.  Boil 45 minutes, add wine, and boil another 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Taste and season if needed.
  4. Remove bay leaves and bouquet garni.  Add chunks of chicken and matzoh balls (see below), and serve.  If you want the soup to be more clear, make soup one day ahead.  Cool and refridgerate.  The next day, remove fat that congealed on surface of the soup, reheat and serve.
  5. To make Matzoh Balls:  Mix matzoh meal with oil and beaten eggs. Add soup liquid or water until well combined.  Refridgerate 20 minutes.  Roll into 1 inch balls (they’ll get bigger) and drop into another pot of salted boiling water.  Cook 30-40 minutes.  Drain and add matzoh balls to soup.

Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup


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  1. Anita’s avatar

    Glad you guys are keeping Pesach real in the Middle Kingdom. I think if you are Sephardic rice is kohser for Passover, which would make things a lot easier if you were in China. Good luck with your imminent move back to the USA. By the way, I like the new layout of the site.