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Chicken-less Soup with Knaidlach (Matzah balls)


  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 large onions
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch dill (3-4 Tbs)
  • 1 bunch parsley (3-4 Tbs)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs turmeric (for yellow color)
  • lots of pepper


  • Clean and peel the vegetables and chop them coarsely (bite size pieces). Separate the garlic into cloves and peel them.
    • Put all the ingredients into your largest soup pot. Fill to the top with water. Simmer for hours.

    Ganzeh Galus Guide Chicken-less Soup
    (Firestone Recipe)

    Take your biggest pot that you'll be cooking your soup in, and pour into it

    • enough olive oil

    to saute a lot of vegetables (you may keep adding olive oil when you need it). Then saute the following cut-up vegies in this order:

    • 6-10 cloves garlic (in slices),
    • 5-6 large onions (cut into small pieces),
    • a good amount of green cabbage,
    • Italian parsely (or regular, also cut up),
    • 3-4 sticks celery (cut into pieces, including the leaves on the end),
    • 6-7 carrots (all in slices or small pieces),
    • 4-5 potatos (in bite-sized pieces).

    Saute the garlic until completely brown; then, with the garlic still in the olive oil, add the onion and do likewise; then add the celery and do the same, etc. Each vegie gets its own saute cycle, but keep what you'd already saute'd in the pot so that the amount of vegies grows. When you are all done, you should have a lot of vegies in your pot and your house should already smell terrific.

    While doing the saute part, add herbs. I usually put in a generous amount of

    • thyme and
    • basil,
    • sometimes oregano
    • or others,

    depending on what's on hand and what smells best at the time. You can also add salt if you'd like, to taste.

    Once everything has been cooked in the oil, then fill up the pot with water to the very top and bring to a boil. Let steep or simmer for an hour and you have the vegetarian base for your matza ball soup.

    Whole Wheat Knaidlach - NY Times Recipe

    If you can't find whole wheat matzah meal, crush matzah in a sealed freezerbag or whirl it in a food processor

    Knaidlach-Greenwood Recipe

    This recipe makes medium hard knaidlach (cannonballs). To make softer ones, try separating the eggs and beating the whites; using margarine/butter instead of oil; keeping your batter and hands really cold until the balls go into boiling water; and reducing the amount of matzah meal. Some people also suggest substituting seltzer for the water.


    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup matzoh meal
    • one-half teaspoon ginger
    • one-eighth teaspoon cinnamon
    • one-quarter cup oil (or butter)
    • one-quarter cup Ganzeh Galus Guide Chicken-less Soup broth
    • 1 tsp salt, but only if your soup broth is not salty


    • (optional, for softer knaidlach): Separate the eggs; beat the whites until they are stiff.
    • Mix all the ingredients well (except the egg whites, if you are separating the eggs).
    • If you separated the eggs, carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk/matzah mixture.
    • Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour.
    • Wet your hands with cold water and form into balls. Cook in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.

    Knaidlach-Firestone Recipe

    The matza balls part is easy. Use the same quantities given above; I use margarine instead of the oil.

    The trick is to measure out the required amount of matza meal but NOT to add all of it into the batter.

    Keep the batter wet enough so that you can't quite form matza balls with it. Then put it in the refrigerator for a half or 3/4 hour until the butter/margarine congeals. Then you can form the balls and they will be much lighter than if you added all the matza meal called for.

    If the batter sticks to your hands, just rinse your hands with COLD water. When you've formed the balls, immediately pop them into a pot of boiling water. Don't make them very big because they'll grow in the boiling water. You'll know when they are ready (about 15 minutes or so).

    Then take out the balls and store them in a plastic container in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat the soup. When you heat up the soup to serve it, pop the balls into the soup pot and heat them up with the soup. THAT'S IT!

    Happy Pesah

    "You were strangers in Mitzrayim; do not oppress the stranger."

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