Knaidelach (Matzo Balls and Goose Soup)

  • Serves

    serves 12


The recipe for this comforting soup is based on one from Budapest chef Andras Singer, who crumbles matzo to make his matzo balls, giving them a striated texture. We found that using baking powder makes them even more springy and airy.


  • 1 (8-lb.) whole goose or two (4-lb.) chickens, cut into 6 pieces
  • 8 cremini or button mushrooms
  • 6 Brussels sprouts
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs parsley, plus 1/3 cup minced parsley leaves
  • 1 large turnip, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black4 pepper
  • 5 matzo crackers (about 6 oz.)
  • 12 cup plus 2 tbsp. melted schmaltz
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger


Step 1

Put goose in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim fat from surface. Add mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, parsley sprigs, and turnip and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding a little water, as necessary, to keep goose covered and skimming fat from surface, for 3 hours.

Step 2

Set a fine strainer over a large pot and strain stock, reserving liquid and solids. Transfer goose parts to a platter; let cool. Transfer mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and carrots to a plate, discarding the other vegetables, and let cool. Shred goose meat, discarding skin and bones, and add to stock. Julienne the reserved vegetables; return to stock. Season soup with salt and pepper; set over low heat.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the matzo balls: Put matzo in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground; set aside. Beat together schmaltz and eggs in a large bowl; add baking powder and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Add reserved ground matzo and remaining parsley; mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until stiff; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Using wet hands, divide matzo mixture into 24 portions and roll into balls about 1" in diameter. Working in 2 batches, add matzo balls to pot, bring water to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until matzo balls are tender and doubled in size, about 20 minutes. To serve, divide soup and matzo balls between 12 bowls.

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