Matzoh Ball Soup

Mama has gotten countless compliments for this classic Passover soup. Her children request it any time they aren't feeling great and it does have magical penicillin powers.  Mama knows that many people think that vegetables like carrots and celery belong in their matzoh ball soup but this is how it's been made in the family for at least as long as Mama can remember so this is how it's done.  There's a lot to be said for tradition.


1 whole chicken

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 large whole yellow onion peeled

8 eggs

1 shot vodka (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2-3 cups matzoh meal

1 Tablespoon Salt

1/2 cup broth


In a stock pot, place the whole chicken including any giblets available.  If you have any left over roasted chicken carcasses, toss those in too.  Add onion, vinegar, and water to cover.  Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours or more.  Add water as needed to keep chicken well covered.  Into a bowl, scoop out all the chicken and the onion, making sure all of the bones are removed from the broth.  Cool broth and chicken separately.  Skim fat from broth (and save for making chopped liver).  Pull dark meat from the chicken and return to the broth, mashing the chicken between your fingers.  Use the white meat to make a nice chicken salad or chicken pot pie.  In a mixing bowl, mix eggs, vodka, and vegetable oil.  Add in matzoh meal and salt and stir well.  Use less meal if you like floating light matzoh balls and more if you like your matzoh balls more dense and heavy.  Mama likes them on the heavier side. Add broth from the stock pot. Stir well. Chill matzoh ball dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Bring broth to a rolling boil and salt to taste.  Form matzoh balls by scooping a soup spoon into dough and spooning into the boiling broth.  Set a timer for the matzoh balls at 20 minutes for lighter and 40 minutes for denser balls, as the last one goes in.  At no point in the process should you cover the soup.  Check for matzoh ball done-ness by cutting into a matzoh ball.  If it's a consistent pale color all the way through, it's done.