Southwestern Matzo Ball Soup 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours



  • 1 4-lb chicken
  • 3 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and halved
  • 3 stalks celery, halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 leeks (white and light green park only) end trimmed, halved through the root and rinsed
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (use liquid)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro with stems
  • For The Matzoh Balls
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp club soda
  • To Serve
  • lime wedges for serving
  • chopped avocado for serving
  • fresh cilantro for serving


Prepare the broth by placing the whole chicken in a large pot along with the carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, diced tomatoes and chilies and fresh cilantro. Cover with water by one inch. Bring to a boil then reduce to low, simmering partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 90 minutes. Skim off foam and fat as needed.


Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Meanwhile strain the broth through a sieve into a large bowl. Return the broth to the pot and discard the onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Chop the carrots, parsnip and celery into bite size pieces and add back into the broth. Remove the chicken from the bone and tear into bite-size pieces. Add to the broth. Discard bones and skin.

Season the broth with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For The Matzoh Balls

In a small bowl mix together the eggs, matzo meal, vegetable oil, salt, chili powder, paprika, parsley and club soda. Cover and let chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator to firm.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.


Scoop out rounded tablespoons of the mixture and shape into balls. Drop into the salted water and repeat with the remaining matzoh meal. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the matzo balls are tender, about 30 minutes.

Serve by placing a few matzo balls in a bowl. Ladle the soup over and top with chopped avocado, cilantro and fresh lime wedges. Serve.


This soup makes a great lunch or a fun dinner.

If you cannot find matzo meal, substitute for matzoh ball mix. You'll have a few extra seasoning, but not enough to alter the recipe too much.

Perfect Pairing

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