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.

Yield: Makes 4 1/2 quarts
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  • 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
  • Bertha's Matzo Balls


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