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Jewish Chicken Soup



This traditional Jewish chicken soup is good for anything that ails you. It's the absolute best when you've got the flu, and it's great on the second and third day. This recipe was passed down from my great-grandmother who needed to make the matzoh balls as heavy as possible to feed a hungry family. You can cut the matzoh meal by 1/2 cup to lighten the load.


    • 1 whole chicken
    • 2 quarts cold water, or as needed
    • 8 carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1 parsnip, chopped
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 bunch fresh dill weed, chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2 ½ cups matzo meal
    • 6 eggs
    • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Place chicken, breast-side down, into a large pot; fill with enough cold water to reach about 3 inches from top of the pot. Add carrots, celery, parsnip, onion, dill, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, partially covered for 2 hours. Do not let the soup boil. Skim any fat from the top of the soup. Add garlic, partially cover, and simmer for another 2 hours.
  2. Mix matzo meal, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 cup of broth from the soup together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
  3. Bring a separate pot of water to a rolling boil. Roll matzo mixture into about 16 balls. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them. Drop matzoh balls into boiling water, cover, and cook for about 35 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove chicken from soup; remove the bones and skin and cut or shred into pieces. Strain broth, reserving vegetables. Return broth to the pot; add chicken and vegetables (or reserve for another use). Remove matzo balls from boiling water using a slotted spoon; add to soup.

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