Go Back
+ servings

Israeli Matzo Ball Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine Israeli
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author International Cuisine


  • For the schmaltz and the broth
  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken wings about 8
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and halved
  • 3 large carrots peeled and halved crosswise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • For the matzo balls
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal or 2-1/4 matzo crackers, finely ground
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder or use 2 Tablespoons seltzer water for passover
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the soup
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots sliced into 2" pieces
  • 2 medium celery ribs cut into 1/2" pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Make the schmaltz and the broth
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
  • Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer on a rack with a tray beneath to catch the fat. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast, flipping once, until the fat from the wings has rendered (this is schmaltz) and the wings are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  • Pour the schmaltz into a small bowl to cool; you should have about 2 Tbs.
  • In a large pot Cover the wings with 3 inches of cool water (about 1 gallon). Bring to a simmer over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to low, and cook uncovered, for at least 4 and up to 6 hours.
  • Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 1 tsp. salt, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook about 1 1/2 hour.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, and then strain it again through cheesecloth or heavy-duty paper towels into another bowl. You should have about 8 cups of broth; if you have less, add water to make 8 cups.
  • Skim any fat that rises to the top of the broth, transfer it to the bowl of schmaltz, and refrigerate until solidified, about 20 minutes.
  • Make the matzo balls
  • Combine the matzo meal, eggs, 2 Tbs. of the schmaltz, 2 Tbs. of the broth, the baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl, gently stirring until thickened, about 1 minute. The mixture should be a sticky paste that holds together but is not heavy or dense; if you need to add more broth to achieve this consistency, add 1 Tbs. at a time, up to 1/4 cup more total. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Using wet hands, very gently form rounded tablespoonfuls of the matzo mixture into 12 1-inch balls, transferring them to a plate. Do not overwork or compress the mixture, or the matzo balls will be dense.
  • Make the soup
  • Heat 2 Tbs. schmaltz (or, if you don’t have enough schmaltz, add vegetable oil to make 2 Tbs. of fat) in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and browned at the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.
  • With wet hands, add the matzo balls to the soup and return it to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the matzo balls are cooked through and doubled in size, about 30 minutes (no need to turn them). Insert a toothpick into the center of a matzo ball and if it slides in and out without resistance, they’re done. Serve the soup garnished with the parsley.