Matzo Ball Soup
Tender dumplings and savory broth make a happy pair. Just don’t introduce them too soon.
Why This Recipe Works
A perfect matzo ball is substantial enough to hold its shape but not so dense that it sinks to the bottom of the soup. To achieve this delicate balance, we combine matzo meal, eggs, and water and then let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the matzo meal to fully absorb the liquid before forming the balls. Cooking matzo balls in boiling salted water—separately from the soup—keeps the soup itself from getting cloudy. To build a flavorful soup, we add subtly sweet parsnips to the classic combination of chicken broth, celery, onion, and carrot and then fortify it with two whole chicken legs for depth. (We later remove the legs and, if desired, shred them and add the meat back to the soup.)