Dayna’s Matzo Ball Soup

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Dayna Macy includes this matzo ball soup recipe, which she makes for Seder every Passover, in the “Feast” chapter of her book Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom (Hay House). “The one ‘Berkeley’ thing I added was a piece of kombu to the stock to give it some minerals,” says Macy. “If you’re not serving it during Passover, feel free to add 1/2 pound of your favorite cooked pasta,” she adds.

Dayna’s Matzo Ball Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Dayna’s Matzo Ball Soup


  1. Soup:
  2. 1 (4-pound) organic chicken, patted dry and giblets removed
  3. 6 cups [chicken stock|
  4. 6 cups water
  5. 1 large onion, quartered
  6. 1 (4-inch) piece kombu (optional)
  7. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  10. 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (about 1-1/2 cups)
  11. 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  13. 1 handful fresh dill, chopped
  14. Cracked black pepper, to taste
  15. Matzo balls:
  16. 2 large eggs
  17. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  18. 2 tablespoons seltzer water OR plain water
  19. 1 packet matzo ball mix (half a 5-ounce package)


Place chicken in a large stockpot with chicken stock, 6 cups water, onion, kombu (if using), garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over high heat, skimming any scum that floats to the surface. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 2 hours. Continue to skim the surface of the broth occasionally to remove any scum that rises to the surface.

Meanwhile, make the matzo balls. Whisk eggs well in a small bowl. Whisk in oil and seltzer water. Stir in matzo ball mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.

Strain stock (discard onion, kombu, garlic and bay leaf) and return to pot with carrots, celery and turmeric. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Discard skin from chicken and remove meat from the bones. Shred or chop the meat and add it to the pot. Season with additional salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium and bring soup back up to a gentle simmer.

With wet hands, form matzo ball mixture into smooth, compact 3/4- to 1-inch balls (you should have about 12-14). Drop matzo balls into simmering broth. Cook until fluffed up, about another 20 minutes. Don’t let soup come to a rolling boil or the matzo balls will fall apart. If little bits fall off the matzo balls, don’t worry. The bulk of the dumplings will remain intact.

Serve in bowls, garnished with dill.

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