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Lemon Saffron Matzo Ball Soup

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 7 -8 servings
Author: Samantha Ferraro


Chicken Soup

  • 4-5 cups water
  • 2, 32 oz box of chicken stock low sodium
  • 4 whole carrots + 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 1 garlic bulb cut in half
  • 2 whole stalks of celery + 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 Chicken thighs and 2 chicken breasts or whatever you have on hand
  • 4 dried Persian lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Matzo Balls

  • 3/4 cup matzo meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tb grapeseed oil or any light flavored oil you have
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of saffron ground up
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Small handful of parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Chopped dill
  • Chopped parsley
  • Lemon slices


  • Begin by making your chicken stock. I slightly cheated and used both water and boxed stock. In a large pot, add water and stock, 4 whole carrots, 1 onion, 1 garlic bulb, 2 stalks of celery, chicken, 4 dried lemons and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium until chicken is cooked through, about an 1-1/2 hours.
  • As the soup cooks, check it every so often and use a ladle to skim the fat from the top. It will be white and look frothy. You may also need to add more liquid if you see it reducing.
  • While soup is cooking, make your matzo balls. In a bowl add matzo meal, eggs, sparkling water, grapeseed oil, cayenne, saffron, turmeric, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and place in fridge to set for about 20 minutes.
  • When matzo mixture is ready, it will not be as "lose" as when you first mixed, but will be a little firmer. With wet hands, roll the matzo balls lightly between your palms, about the size of a golf ball. Place them on a plate until ready. You should have about 14.
  • When chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, chop or shred the chicken, discarding bones and skin. Set aside.
  • Next, strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve and discard aromatics. (*Note: I left the dried lemon in because I just love the flavor). Return soup base to your pot. Taste for seasoning.
  • Next, bring your soup back to a simmer. Add your chopped carrots, celery and matzo balls. The soup should be at a constant simmer but not overly-boiling. Cover pot and cook matzo balls for 35 minutes. When ready, they should be floating.
  • When soup is ready, turn off and back your chicken, add chopped parsley, dill and sliced lemon.
  • Ladle soup in bowls with matzo balls and chicken and then pour in soup. Add additional lemon slices.