Bertha's Matzo Ball Soup

Antonis Achilleos
This meal is Jewish penicillin--it'll cure anything. My grandmother liked to make this hearty version. My mother, though, prefers to reserve the chicken and vegetables for a later use and serves a clear broth with her matzo balls.


Makes 4 1/2 quarts

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Prep: 20 Minutes
Cook: 3 Hours


1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into quarters
2 to 3 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, cut into quarters
1 parsnip, chopped
1 turnip or parsley root, chopped
3 to 4 carrots, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
1 fresh parsley sprig
1 fresh dill sprig


1. Bring chicken and 4 quarts cold water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove foam with a slotted spoon as it rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour.

2. Add celery and next 6 ingredients. Tie parsley and dill sprigs together, and add to soup. Cover and simmer 2 more hours or until chicken is tender.

3. Remove chicken, and let cool. Skim fat. Remove chicken from bones, and return meat to soup. Add matzo balls, and serve.


Bertha Natt,

April 2007
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