Eda’s Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Eda’s Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Yield: Serves 12 to 14  |  Total time: 1 hour 30 min
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"My grandmother Eda didn’t write down all of her recipes. My mother shadowed her through demonstrations and wrote them down, trying to interpret bowl-fuls, scoops, and pinches. Ironically, when I tried translating my grandmother’s recipe with my mother, it appeared my mother still relies on some of these measurements. Regardless, Eda’s soup is still legendary in its replication. Thus, the measurement of a bowl-ful can be interpreted looselyEda’s chicken soup can include noodles or matzo balls."

      --Recipe and photo kindly shared by Blair Chavis to accompany her story, PASSOVER: FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE.


  • 2 dinner soup bowls of water per each pound of chicken, totaling 12 soup bowls of water (my mother adds 4 additional bowls of water for good measure—totaling 16 bowls of water)
  • 6 pounds of chicken thighs, drumsticks, and/or wings
  • 1 large onion, whole (and/or 1 leek)
  • 3 stalks celery (with leaves)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) parsnips, sliced the long way
  • 4 carrots (or approximately 24 baby carrots cut in thirds)
  • 6 to 10 sprigs parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
  • Whole black peppercorns (or fresh ground pepper), to taste


  1. Cover and bring water to a boil in a large stock pot.
  2. While water is heating, clean chicken of excess fat, but do not remove skin.  When water reaches a boil, add chicken and cover pot. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken from soup pot and set aside. The boiled chicken can be used for another dish, such as chicken salad.
  3. Skim off the fat from the top of liquid in the pot using spider.  Add vegetables to the pot.  Leek: Wash and trim the tops of the leaves. Put entire leek in the pot.  Celery: Wash thoroughly. Cut off the top leaves and set aside.  Cut and discard a small portion atop the celery stalk below the leaves. Also, snip the white bottoms of the stalks. Cut remaining stalks into chunks. Add chunks and leaves to broth.  Parsnip: Peel, wash and add entire parsnip to the broth.  Carrots: Peel, wash, and chop carrots into small chunks.  Parsley: Wash, remove stems, and use the sprigs only for the broth (about 10).  Add salt and pepper to broth.  Taste and add more, as needed.
  4. Stir and cover. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove leek, parsnip, and celery leaves; discard.  Add cooked noodles or matzo balls. and serve warm.



  • 7 tablespoons oil
  • 7 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups matzo meal
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 7 tablespoons soup broth (or water)


  1. In one bowl, mix together oil and eggs.
  2. In a second bowl, mix together matzo meal and salt.
  3. Mix both together and add broth and stir to combine.  Cover bowl and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Fill a large pot ¾ full with water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
  5. Shape the matzo mixture into balls about the size of golf balls.  Reduce water in pot to a simmer.  Drop balls in salted water; cover and cook on a low simmer for about 1 hour. Balls will grow in size.  Add cooked balls to your soup and serve at once.

Date Published: March 25, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

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