Vegetarian Matzoh ball soup

February 13, 2023 at 11:24 pm (A (4 stars, love, favorite), Jewish, My brain, Root vegetables, soup, Spring recipes, To test on plan, Winter recipes, Yearly menu plan)

I make matzoh ball soup every year on Passover, and usually at least once or twice a year just because I like it. I made it this week and wanted to write down a few notes to remember what I did.

Vegetarian Soup Base


  • 1? cup diced celeriac / celery root (peeled)
  • 2? cups diced / half-mooned parsnip
  • 2? cups diced / half-mooned parsnip carrots
  • 3? quarts water or vegetable broth
  • ? salt and/or vegetarian bouillon cubes
  • 2? cups frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, to garnish
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion, to garnish

AUNT LOIS’S MATZOH BALLS (with extra seasonings)


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use 1/4 cup, but Lois’ recipe calls for 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley or 2 Tbs. freshly chopped parsley (optional, Aunt Lois doesn’t add any, but I like the flavor)
  • two large pinches of nutmeg (optional, Aunt Lois doesn’t add any, but I like the flavor)
  • 6 quarts salted boiling water


  1. In mixing bowl, mix together eggs, oil and salt.  Add matzoh meal, mixing well.
  2. Refrigerate for two hours.  (This year I prepared the mixture at night, covered the bowl well and refrigerated it until morning. Then I continued with step 3.)
  3. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart pot and add salt (around the same amount as you would use for 3 quarts of pasta water).
  4. With wet hands, roll dough into walnut sized balls.  Drop into the salted, boiling water.
  5. When all matzoh balls are made and in water, cover tightly and cook for 40 minutes. (At a boil? Or turn down to a simmer?). Do not uncover during this process.
  6. Shut off heat and let cool for one hour, keeping the cover tightly closed.  This makes for very fluffy matzoh balls.  The matzoh balls are now ready to add to vegetable broth.  Allow them to heat thoroughly in the hot broth (or soup).

This recipe makes about 12 matzoh balls.

Notes from April 7, 2023:

I made these matzoh balls for Passover. I made the batter ahead and it chilled in the fridge for quite a long time. I might have made the matzoh balls a bit smaller than last time — golf ball sized I think. I simmered the matzoh balls for 25 minutes, then added the veggies and turned the soup off. When we got to Dayenu during the Seder I turned the soup back on to warm up, but I wasn’t paying attention and the soup ended up returning to a boil —  I’m not sure for how long. The matzoh balls ended up very firm — too firm even for Derek! And the veggies were overcooked. The soup was still tasty, but the matzoh balls weren’t as good.

I tried adding a few shiitakes and they were fine but a little rubbery and you couldn’t really taste them. I also added a little diced celery root and I couldn’t taste it either, although maybe it added more flavor to the broth.

Notes from Feb 13, 2023:

I used Derek’s Aunt Lois’s recipe for matzoh balls, but halved the amount of oil. I didn’t refrigerate the batter all the long. Instead, I just stuck the bowl in the freezer while I brought my vegetable broth from refrigerator cold to boiling. While the broth was heating up I cut up a bunch of carrots and parsnips. I peeled them (because the skins looked not so great) and cut them into half moon shapes (for the skinny parts) or diced (for the fat parts).

I cooked the matzoh balls for maybe 25 minutes covered then added the carrots and then a few minutes later the parsnips. The parsnips ended up a bit undercooked though, so maybe next time I should add them at the same time as the carrots? When the vegetables were tender I added frozen peas and served the matzoh ball soup with lots of fresh parsley.

The matzoh balls ended up more light and fluffy than usual, I’m not sure why. Maybe because I didn’t chill it as long? Or because I didn’t cook the matzoh balls for 40 minutes, as Lois’s recipe says? Derek says next time I need to figure out how to make some sinkers.

Alma liked the soup, but she said the matzoh balls were too big, and next time I should make them smaller.

I like the combination of parsnips, carrots, peas, and parsley, but I feel like the soup is missing something. What else could I add? Maybe something for a little more texture/protein? Fava beans?

Aunt Lois says to cook the matzoh balls in salted water, then later add them to the soup. This results in beautiful white matzoh balls. But I like the taste of the vegetable broth after the matzoh balls have been cooked in the broth. So if you’re more into taste than appearance, or just lazy, go ahead and cook your matzoh balls in your vegetable broth. (Is it possible that this choice affects the texture of the matzoh balls??)

1 Comment

  1. Vegetarian Passover Menu for 2023 | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] vegetarian matzoh ball soup in homemade vegetable broth, with carrots, parsnips, celery root and […]

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