Mazto Ball Soup (Knaidlach)

Over the weekend, we roasted a chicken. Stealthy Dad carved it to serve, and immediately put the carcass into the crock pot to make stock.

I covered it with water and added some sad-but-not-ready-for-compost vegetables from the fridge. Thanks to the idea from on the Traditional Foods blog, I also added a couple tablespoons of vinegar to break the bones down, releasing more minerals into the broth. A day and a half later, I strained the solids from the broth. After pouring it back into the (rinsed) crock pot, I added some light seasoning to the broth: salt, ginger, sage, thyme, and dried onions.

The decision of what soup to make was not an easy one. Nearly every culture has a version of dumplings and broth. It came down to two: Won Ton or Matzo Ball. I can get decent Won Ton soup down the street, so chose to make the latter.
Matzo Ball Soup 

Matzo Balls are egg-based dumplings made with matzo meal, which amounts to a type of cracker crumbs. Mazos are different from other crackers because their ingredient list is limited to just flour and water. I have never tried to substitute crumbs of saltines, club, or cream crackers because their shortening would change the texture of the dumplings.

Today's recipe for the Mazo Balls (Knaidlach) is adapted from page 209 of a favorite cookbook from my collection: Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen

4 eggs
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lite salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp cold chicken soup (or water)
1/2 cup matzo meal

Beat the eggs and olive oil together with a whisk or fork. Add the salt, pepper, soup (or water) and matzo meal. When it is well mixed, set it in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to thicken.

The dough will be sticky, so rinse your hands with warm water before you begin shaping the balls and every so often as you make them. The water will keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Roll the dough into balls, using between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, depending on the size of dumpling you wish to have. You can either form them ahead, or one at a time as you put them in the water. Around here, it is safer to make the dough balls and drop them in all at once in case there is an interruption.

Drop the dough balls into a pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes before transferring them to the soup pot. If you wish, you can add them straight to boiling soup, but it will make a clear soup cloudy.

This recipe was shared at Sunday Night Soup Night and Make Your Own Monday, where folks from around the net share natural recipes.


  1. I love Matzo Ball soup! Thanks for the tip about using vinegar.

  2. I made matzo ball soup years ago and now seeing this and how delicious it looks makes me want to try again!!! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. The sad part is that the cook book seems to be out of print. :( Everyone should have a copy, but the used book stores seem to be charging a bundle.

  4. This looks really tasty, I can see why it is your 3 yo's favorite! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night! I'll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I'd love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe.


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