Lyndsay Burginger

Southwestern Matzo Ball Soup

In need of a simple soup for either lunch or dinner? Try this Southwestern Matzo Ball Soup recipe that's perfect for Passover, Shabbat, or really any night of the week. The entire family will love the hearty flavors of the homemade chicken broth, veggies, and of course, the matzoh balls. The fun twist of additional ingredients also adds some interesting flavors to this soup recipe as well.

How to Make Homemade Matzo Ball Soup

You'll start by preparing the homemade chicken stock, which is best made in a big stock pot. Don't go for the store-bought chicken stock. Making your own isn't as intimidating as you might think and you just can't beat the flavor. Place the whole chicken along with carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, diced tomatoes and chilies and fresh cilantro sprigs into the pot and cover with water. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for about 90 minutes until the chicken is tender. Skimming off any chicken fat that builds up during this process is also recommended.

Once the chicken broth has simmered, removed the whole chicken and allow it to cool. While it's cooling, strain the broth into a large bowl or large pot and discard everything but the carrots, parsnips and celery. Chop these veggies into bite-sized pieces and toss back into the broth. Be sure to give the soup a taste and to season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Now it's time to make some matzoh balls! For the matzo ball mixture, mix together the large eggs, 1 cup matzo meal, vegetable oil, salt, chili powder, paprika, parsley and seltzer and refrigerate until firm. With wet hands or a tablespoon, shape into balls and drop into boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes. While the matzoh balls are simmering, shred the chicken.

Remove matzoh balls with a slotted spoon and place a few into each bowl. Ladle the soup into each bowl and serve with fresh ingredients like avocado, lime wedges and cilantro. There's no doubt the whole family will fall in love with this fun, Southwestern twist on traditional Matzo Ball Soup.

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Southwestern Matzo Ball Soup

This Southwestern Matzo Ball Soup isn't just for Passover or Shabbat. Make up a batch to serve as a simple lunch or a light dinner.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 10 servings


  • 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

Looking for another soup to try out?
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