Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup


For a hearty lunch or dinner, make this Passover holiday classic with a twist—no meat!—with this family lunch or dinner recipe from Jonathan Safran Foer, author of "New American Haggadah."


For the Matzo Balls

  • 4 large eggs

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup matzo meal

  • ½ cup seltzer

For the Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 rib celery, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup peeled, chopped parsnips

  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 cups water (or homemade or store-bought, low-sodium vegetable broth)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • ½ cup minced fresh dill

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Make the matzo balls: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add matzo meal and seltzer; mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Make the soup: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, sweet potato, parsnips, ginger, and garlic; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add water or broth, bay leaves, and thyme; reduce heat and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Do not let liquid come to a boil. Remove from heat; strain and discard solids. Add dill and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

  4. Moisten hands with water and, using your hands, form matzo batter into about 1 1/2-inch balls. At this point, matzo balls can be transferred to freezer until frozen and then transferred to airtight containers and kept frozen for up to 1 month. Frozen matzo balls can be added directly to boiling water.

  5. Place matzo balls in boiling water; cover and cook until light and fluffy, about 20 minutes. Carefully transfer matzo balls to warm soup; serve immediately.

    Rob Tannenbaum
Related Articles