Un-Chicken Matzah Ball Soup

I was so excited about preparing for our Passover Seder, that I didn’t have time to take any pictures between all the cooking, cleaning, and furniture rearranging. Everything came out really tasty and my guests were very content. So, I will provide you with some photos of the finished dish and a recipe for my soup. Aren’t leftovers great?

I have always loved a matzah-ball soup. Chicken soup soothed me through the winter and many a sickness. Ever since I became a vegetarian, I’ve missed this soup from my mom and grandma. Several years ago, I devised my own un-chicken version. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Although it’s been so long since having the real thing, maybe my taste-buds are skewed.

My hunch about the tastiness of this soup was confirmed, as the omnivores at the table all loved it and could not believe that there is actually no chicken involved.

un-chicken matzah ball soup

Un-Chicken Soup, with Matzah Balls
Serves 6-8
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. carrots
1 lb. parsnips
3-4 stalks celery
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh dill
kosher salt
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

1. Put two large pots on stove – one should be at least 5 quarts, the other should be at least 3.5 quart. The larger pot is for your soup, the other pot is for the stock.
2. Fill the stock pot 2/3 of the way with water and place over medium heat, to boil.
3. Wash all vegetables very well.
4. Heat soup pot over medium high heat.
5. Add olive oil to soup pot to coat bottom of pan.
6. Quarter and slice onion. Place skins in stock pot.
7. When oil in soup pot is hot, add sliced onions.
8. Stir onions to saute. Continue to periodically stir to prevent burning.
9. Meanwhile, peel parsnips and trim ends. Put peels and ends into stock pot.
10. Cut parsnips into 2-3 inch long pieces.
11. Peel and trim carrots. Put peels and ends in stock pot.
12.When onion in soup pot begins to soften and turns translucent, add parsnips. Stir to coat.
13. Cut carrots into 3 inch long pieces.
14. When parsnips soften slightly add carrots to soup pot. Stir to combine.
15. Add water to soup pot to cover all vegetables. Should be at least 2 quarts of water.
16. Adjust heat on stock pot to maintain low boil.
17. Generously salt stock pot, it should taste saltier than you’d like your soup to be.
18. Trim celery. Put leaves and ends in stock pot.
19. Slice celery into 1 inch wide pieces, set aside.
20. Chop parsley and dill.
21. Let soup and stock cook until vegetables begin to soften.
22. Strain stock into soup. If the stock liquid looks gritty, line strainer with cheesecloth. If it is clear, you can strain directly into soup. See the importance of cleaning your veggies very well?
23. Continue to simmer to combine flavors.
24. Add celery, parsley and dill.
25. Add lemon juice to taste. It will bring out the flavors, yet you don’t want it to taste lemony.
26. Adjust seasoning to taste.
27. Serve with matzah balls.

I wound up making more matzah balls to go with all the extra soup. Turns out to be fortuitous, as Mike and I have both come down with colds.

Matzah Balls
Makes 8-10 balls
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 c. matzah meal
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. stock
1/2 tsp. dill (dried or fresh)

1. In a medium bowl, mix eggs and oil together until combined.
2. Add matzoh meal and salt.

Preparing Matzah balls
3. Stir to combine.
4. Add stock and dill. Mix well.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
7. Divide mixture into 8 sections, like cutting a pizza.

Matzah ball dough ready to form
8. With large teaspoon scoop out dough and gently shape into a ball.

Form matzah balls
9. Slide into boiling water.
10. Repeat until all balls have been formed. The more you handle the dough, the firmer your matzoh ball will be. For a light and fluffy ball, don’t handle the dough at all, use two spoons to scoop it out and slide it into the water.

cooking matzah balls
11. Boil for 30-45 minutes, until cooked. They should float to the top and be light and fluffy.
12. Using a slotted spoon, remove matzoh balls from water. Either keep them in a bowl until ready to serve, or add them to your soup.

matzah balls


One response to “Un-Chicken Matzah Ball Soup”

  1. Carolyn Jung Avatar

    Un-Chicken Matzo Ball soup? Sounds un-believably tasty to me! 😉