This soup is traditionally eaten at Passover, a Jewish holiday commemorating the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. If you don’t own a 20 litre stockpot, you can simply halve stock ingredients (except carrots) and it will still serve eight.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (28 votes)


  • 1 kg meaty chicken bones, remove skin (necks and drumsticks good)
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, cut into chunks


Matzo balls

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 pinches of salt 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups coarse matzo meal
  • 125 ml light olive oil
  • 125 ml water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

In a large pot, cover the chicken with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Skim off any foam. Add the vegetables, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the soup, discarding the solids, and refrigerate overnight.

To make the matzo balls, beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

To cook the matzo balls, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. With damp hands, form golf ball-sized portions of the matzo mixture. Drop the balls into the pot. Cover and simmer for 20–25 minutes.

Remove any solidified fat from the soup before reheating. Place several matzo balls in each serving bowl and ladle over the hot soup.


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.