Matzo Ball Soup a la Mexicana

Matzo Ball Soup a la Mexicana

The chef Fany Gerson’s spicy, dynamic take on a classic matzo ball soup is a staple of her Rosh Hashana table. The broth gets a bright kick from green chiles, cilantro and garlic; the matzo balls are blended with onions and fresh herbs (use an extra-large pot to prevent the balls from overcrowding); and the finished soup is garnished with even more onions, chiles and cilantro, plus avocado and lime for freshness and color. The broth calls for two chickens, even though you use the meat from only one of the chickens shredded in the soup. Ms. Gerson says using two chickens boosts the flavor of the broth, and you can use the meat from the second one the following day for enchiladas or tacos.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the broth: Place all the ingredients except the salt in a large soup pot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Skim off any foam, add salt and simmer, partially covered, until the chickens have fully cooked, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Carefully remove one of the chickens from the broth and transfer to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken and reserve meat, ladling a small amount of broth over it to keep it from drying out, then cover and set aside. Discard the skin and return the bones to the pot. Continue cooking the broth at a high simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to replenish. Turn off the heat and let cool. Strain and discard vegetables and bones, reserving the second chicken for another preparation (such as shredding it to use in enchiladas).
  3. Step 3

    About an hour before the broth is done, make the matzo balls: In a large bowl, combine the matzo meal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs with the 3 yolks, the grated onion, the chicken fat and the minced herbs. In another medium bowl, beat the 3 egg whites by hand or with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir the egg-yolk mixture into the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the beaten egg whites and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Fill a small bowl with water and set aside. Scoop mounds of the matzo batter (about 1 tablespoon each) onto the baking sheet. Using the water to keep your hands moist, as needed, roll each scoop of batter into a ball, handling as gently as possible.
  5. Step 5

    Return the chicken broth to a simmer and season with salt, if needed. Add the matzo balls as gently as possible and cook over moderate heat, turning them a few times, until they are plump and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir the shredded chicken into the soup and cook just until the meat is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Serve soup with onions, chiles, cilantro, epazote, avocado and lime wedges on the side, so everyone can garnish as they like.