Semifinalist: My Grandma Rose’s Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Submitted by Nancy Lehrer



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4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 large onion, chopped

4-5 pieces chicken ( I use kosher and a variety of white and dark meat)

1 tablespoon salt

4 whole peeled canned tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon sugar (do not use this if you do not use the tomatoes)

1 chicken bouillon cube ( I use the Telma brand found in the kosher section in stores)



1. Boil water in 6-quart pot.  Fill 3/4 full.

2. Add carrots, celery, onions, salt and chicken.

3. Skim the fat that rises from the chicken.

4. Add tomatoes, sugar and boullion cube after skimming fat. (The tomatoes are the secret to the taste of this recipe, they do not turn the soup red and can easily be removed when serving)

5. Simmer until the vegetables and chicken are tender and cooked through, 1-1 1/2 hours. 

Matzo Balls:


3 large eggs (12 matzo balls or 4 matzoh balls per egg)

1/2 cup matzo meal

pinch of salt

6 quart pot filled 2/3 full with water



1. Beat the eggs lightly, then add matzo meal and salt.

2. Blend until all ingredients are mixed well, but don’t over stir.

3. Refrigerate batter and boil water in large pot.

4. When water comes to a rolling boil, wet hands and roll mixture into little balls (about the size of a large gumball).

5. Add balls to the boiling water, cover pot while matzo balls simmer.

6. Cook 40-50 minutes.  The matzo balls should be fluffy and cooked through the middle.  Store or heat them in soup to add even more flavor. 

Note: If you do not have time to refrigerate the mixture, you might need to add a little more matzo meal (no more than a teaspoon) to thicken the mixture enough to handle.