We love soup so much, we’re offering a recipe every Monday. Here’s an award winner.


Savory Chicken Soup with Spiced Matzo Balls

There are some foods that we as Jews simply identify as “Jewish Food.” It’s a cultural marker and allows a common thread to exist among Jewish communities around the world.  Among the food styles that many Jews can identify with is soup.

Now, I won’t lay claim that soup is a “Jewish Food,” but as Jews, many of us have what I describe as a familia attachment to the dish, based on tradition and family recipes. And doesn’t seem to be served on nearly every Jewish holiday that includes food as part of the celebration?

I grew up loving my grandmother’s Matzah Ball soup, but who didn’t. I remember as a teen asking her “why do we have soup all the time,” and she simply said, “It’s easy, now get out of the kitchen, I’m working here.”

Plus, it’s the ultimate comfort food and, Lord knows, our people have had more than their fair share of troubles!

We Have Lots Of Soup Recipes

Being new to St. Louis Jewish Light, I was amazed at the sheer volume of soup recipes we have in our database.  A precursory search found over 200 soup recipes, some dating back 30ish years. Unlike some ingredients, over time recipes do not go bad, so starting today, we’re going to bring them all back to life.

Last week, to get the soup cooking so to speak, we launched a fun little voting poll, asking you to decide your favorite soup recipes. We selected ten soups and allowed readers to vote for 3 days. Now, it’s time to offer you the winning recipe for your soup-making pleasure. We will bring back a new soup next Monday.

If you have a soup recipe you would like to share, please email it, along with a photo and any information about why it’s your favorite. Email to [email protected]

Savory Chicken Soup with Spiced Matzo Balls

This winning soup recipe came from our own Margie Lenga Kahn, and don’t be surprised if she’s responsible for many of the 200+ recipes we have. Enjoy!

You will need your homemade chicken soup (or purchased rich chicken broth) to prepare the chicken soup recipe below.

Plan to make the matzo ball aromatics using the recipe below the soup recipe. Once completed, add the aromatics to your regular matzo ball recipe before forming the matzo balls. Cook the matzo balls, as directed in your recipe, drain them and then add them to the soup as directed in Step 3 below of this chicken soup recipe.


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, trimmed and cut into thinly slices (like coins)
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into half-inch pieces
  • ½ tbsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tbsp. peeled and grated fresh turmeric (available at Whole Foods, or 1 tsp. ground turmeric)
  • 3 c. strained chicken soup or broth
  • ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into half-inch strips
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp. coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 Spiced Matzo balls (see matzo ball aromatics recipe below)
  • Fresh minced cilantro or parsley, for garnishing


1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic, onion, carrots and celery; cook for two to three minutes, or until onion becomes translucent.

2. Add grated ginger and grated or ground turmeric; stir until vegetables are well coated. Add chicken broth, chicken breast, thyme, salt and pepper.

3. Bring soup to a boil, add chicken strips and immediately reduce heat so that soup simmers. Continue simmering for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked. Carefully lower matzo balls into soup; continue to simmer for two to three more minutes, making sure the matzo balls are covered in the broth.

4. To serve, spoon two matzo balls into each bowl. Ladle soup and vegetables over matzo balls, and garnish each serving with minced fresh cilantro or parsley.

Makes about 4 servings.

Matzo Ball Aromatics for Spiced Matzo Balls

1. Heat 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

2. Add one green onion, trimmed and finely minced; 2 tbsp. finely minced cilantro or parsley; and 1tsp. peeled and finely grated fresh ginger.

3. Sauté this mixture for about one minute or until softened. Add ¼ tsp. salt and stir to combine. Fold into matzo ball mixture.

Enough aromatics to season 8 matzo balls.