Smoked Matzo Ball Soup

Recipe By:  Courtesy of Rooster Soup Co.
Total Time:  2 hours
Prep Time:  30 minutes


Smoked Schmaltz

  • 1 cup wood chips, for smoking
  • ½ cup chicken fat (schmaltz)


  • ¼ cup smoked schmaltz or canola oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Matzo Balls

  • 1½ cups matzo meal
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1¼ cup chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ cup smoked schmaltz or canola oil
  • Generous pinch salt
Directions Yield:  Serves 6

Smoke Schmaltz

  1. In small bowl with water, submerge wood chips. Let chips soak 30 minutes, then drain. Pile chips onto one side of shallow aluminum pan.
  2. In separate metal bowl, add schmaltz, then set on other side of aluminum pan.
  3. Place pan on barbecue. Position so that wood chips are over burner and schmaltz is over an unlit area.
  4. Set burner to medium-high heat. Close barbecue lid.
  5. Allow schmaltz to smoke for 30 minutes, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

Make Broth

  1. In soup pot over medium-high heat, warm smoked schmaltz. Add garlic and onions, then reduce to low heat. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add celery. Cook until celery just begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in fenugreek and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, allowing soup to simmer until celery is very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add turmeric and season with salt.
  4. Keep broth on low heat until matzo balls are ready.

Make Matzo Ball Dough

  1. In large mixing bowl, whisk together matzo meal, baking powder and salt. Add chopped herbs and whisk again to combine. Add eggs and smoked schmaltz.
  2. Mix dough by hand until it forms a uniform paste, making sure to work through any clumps of dry ingredients.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rest, at least 30 minutes.

Cook Matzo Balls

  1. Using small ice cream scoop or spoon, form chilled dough into 12 balls.
  2. In medium pot, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Season with generous pinch of salt.
  3. Reduce heat to maintain rolling boil and drop balls, one at a time, into broth.
  4. Poach matzo balls, covered, for 26 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Serve Soup

  1. Ladle broth into soup bowls. Add 2 matzo balls to each bowl and serve.


Recipe courtesy of Rooster Soup Co. in Philadelphia