Bubby’s Chicken Matzo Ball Soup for Sore Throats and Colds

Closeup on a bowl of matzo ball soup
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8-10 servings

Whenever someone in my family says they’re sick, the immediate response is: “Can I bring you some chicken soup?” Chicken soup is the all-purpose dish — it’s a remedy when you’ve got a cold or sore throat, it’s that warm, comfort dish during freezing winters and it’s part of celebratory and traditional Jewish meals. This is my family’s classic recipe that hails from Bubby Becky — bubby meaning grandmother in Yiddish. She’s my great-grandmother, so this recipe has been tried, tested and true for a few generations now.

Chicken soup is simply not chicken soup without a good matzo ball. There are many different kinds of matzo balls and it all depends on your preference — dense, fluffy, herby, or plain. This recipe leans toward the fluffy matzo ball for the most comforting, cloud-like texture. Keep a batch in your freezer for when the nasty cold inevitably comes.

Related: Kreplach: The Warm Jewish Dumplings That You Must Try




Bones and skin from 1 leftover rotisserie chicken or 1 whole chicken (2- 3 pounds in size)
yellow onions, chopped
carrots, peeled and chopped
celery stalks, chopped
parsnips, peeled and chopped
bunch fresh parsley
bunch fresh dill (optional)
tsp sea salt
cups water

Matzo balls

cup matzo meal
tsp baking powder
tsp sea salt
Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil or schmaltz
Tbsp water



You can roughly chop all of the veggies, they don’t need to be a perfect size or shape.

Ingredients for matzo ball soup
Step 1

Place a large stock pot on the stove and add the chicken bones and skin, vegetables, herbs and salt.

Step 2

Add water to the pot and bring to a boil.

Broth ingredients in a large stock pot
Step 3

Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer on low heat for 1½ hours. After 30 minutes, scoop the foam that collects at the top and discard it, you can use a slotted spoon to do this.

Step 4

Meanwhile, prepare the matzo balls. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then pour in the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, oil and water. Stir until combined well. Set aside in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 5

With tongs, remove the cooked parsley and dill from the stock pot. Pull out the chicken bones and skin and discard. If you use a whole chicken, take it out and pull the cooked meat off the bones and set aside.

Step 6

Take the matzo ball mixture out of the fridge and using wet hands, shape them into balls, around the size of a golf ball. You should get about 10-12 matzo balls, there is no need for perfection here.

Matzo balls on a plate
Step 7

Place the shaped matzo balls into the soup (you can use a spoon to drop them in), cover the pot and gently simmer for 25 minutes. When the matzo balls are cooked they will float to the top of the broth and increase in size.

Matzo balls being added to broth pot
Step 8

If you made the soup with a whole chicken, place pieces of cooked chicken back into the soup if you like, or save for another meal.

Two balls of matzo ball soup

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