Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

Matzoh Ball Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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5 to 6 pounds chicken bones, including necks and feet, coarsely chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices

1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and quartered

1 small celery stalk, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices

1 small leek, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices

1 sprig fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh parsley with stems

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns

Chicken Soup:

1 whole chicken, washed and patted dry

Salt and pepper

3 large carrots, cut into small cubes

2 large onions, cut into small cubes

3 celery stalks, cut into small cubes

3 parsnips, cut into small cubes

3 whole cloves, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied into a bundle

1 recipe matzoh balls made with store-bought mix

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped dill leaves


  1. Place the chicken bones in a 6 or 7-quart pot, pour cold water over to cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Skim off the foam and fat that collects on the top.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, skimming as necessary. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool. Can be made a few days in advance. Discard the hardened layer of fat before using.
  3. To get the best flavor, cook the whole chicken in the stock, adding a little salt and pepper. Simmer chicken for about 30 minutes, then add vegetables and clove bundle. Cook slowly for another 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and let it cool. Debone the chicken and cut it into small pieces, then add it to the soup. Don't forget to remove the clove bundle.
  4. While the soup is cooking, prepare matzoh balls according to package directions and cook in salted water. Set aside.
  5. Presentation: Ladle soup evenly onto 6 to 8 plates. Place 1 or 2 matzoh balls in soup (depending on their size). Just before serving, add chopped herbs.