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.