Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup with Homemade Stock and Saffron » Foodom

Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup with Homemade Stock and Saffron

$102.92 Cooking Fee
Serving Size: 1.5 cups of soup with 2 matzo balls
This vegetarian matzo ball soup has the perfect savory flavor, golden color, and all of those yummy qualities, as close as you can get to a real comforting chicken soup thanks to the magic ingredient, the saffron!
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Ingredients Scale

Adjust the ingredients measurement scale here by changing this number. 10


  • Combine all stock ingredients in a large pot with 1 tbsp kosher salt (reserve the 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill for later). If you're salt-sensitive, you can start with 2 tsp salt, however, please note that for the saffron flavor to shine here, you do need salt in the mix. I really recommend 1 tbsp if you're not watching your salt intake.
  • Cover ingredients with 4 quarts (16 cups) water. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer (around medium heat). Let the stock cook uncovered for 50 minutes until the liquid reduces by about a third and the stock is flavorful.
  • While the stock is cooking, make the matzo balls. Whisk eggs in a small mixing bowl with vegetable oil and seltzer water. Use a fork to stir in the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and chopped fresh dill to make a thick batter. Place the batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While the matzo balls are chilling, slice 2 carrots, 3 celery stalks and 2 zucchinis
  • While the batter is chilling, in a second pot combine 3 quarts (12 cups) of water with a pinch of saffron and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a simmer, stir to dissolve the salt. Keep the salted saffron water hot until the matzo ball mixture is fully chilled.
  • Place a small dish of cold water beside the pot of saffron water. Take the chilled matzo ball batter out of the refrigerator. Bring the saffron water to a simmer. Wet your hands and roll the matzo ball batter into walnut-sized balls, then gently drop them into the simmering saffron water. Wet your hands between each ball; this makes forming them easier. Don't make them larger than walnuts, they'll expand a lot as they cook!
  • When all of the matzo balls are in the water, bring back to a low bubbling simmer (not a heavy boil) and cover the pot. Let the matzo balls simmer for 30-35 minutes, keeping the pot covered for at least the first 30 minutes until it's cooked through. No peeking! Keeping the pot covered will help the matzo balls become fluffy.
  • When the vegetable stock liquid has reduced by about a third, strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl.
  • Rinse the pot and pour the stock back into the pot. Add the fresh sliced carrots, celery and zucchini to the stock along with 1 tbsp chopped dill. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt if desired. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the vegtables are tender.
  • A note about the matzo balls: this recipe contains baking powder. If you keep kosher, there are, in fact, several brands of kosher for Passover baking powder (Gefen makes a popular one sold in kosher markets). It makes for lighter, fluffier matzo balls. If you're not concerned about fluffiness to feel free to omit; your matzo balls will turn out more dense, like "sinkers."
  • A note about saffron: Invest in good quality saffron. I say invest because saffron can be very pricey. If a bottle of saffron threads costs less than $10, it’s probably not worth buying. Imitation saffron often sold in a bag under the name "American Saffron" or "Mexican saffron," do not impart the flavor of true saffron-- in fact, they have no flavor at all and are used mostly to color foods. I don’t recommend the bag full of saffron that costs $5… it’s not the stuff you want, and it won’t give you the flavor you need.

Cook Times

Active Prep15
Hands-On Cook10
Hands-Off Cook70
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Recipe Serving Size10



Soup Ingredients

  • 6 carrot about 3 medium carrots for the stock broken into 3rds, plus 3 medium carrots sliced into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 9 rib celery about 6 stalks for the stock broken into 3rds, plus 3 stalks sliced into 1/2 inch chunks, including leaves
  • 2 zucchini 2 medium zucchinis sliced 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 onion large rinsed and halved, skin on
  • 1 leek sliced and cleaned (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 celery root peeled and quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh dill set a side 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 whole peppercorn
  • 7 clove spice cloves, not garlic
  • 1 pinch saffron threads not American or Mexican saffron which has no flavor - but the good stuff! It's expensive but necessary for this soup. Do not sub turmeric! The flavor is completely different.
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Matzo Ball Ingredients

  • 4 egg large
  • 4 tablespoon avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon seltzer water
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder if making for Passover and keeping kosher, make sure the brand is certified kosher for passover
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
  • 1 pinch saffron threads

Cooking Tools Required

Measuring cups and spoons, Mixing bowls, Mixing spoon, Stock pot or >5 Qt pot, Top Stove
Reheating/Serving Instructions

Keep the matzo balls separate until ready to serve. Drop the desired amount Pof balls into the soup, heat the pot before serving, serve 1.5 cups of soup and veggies along with 2 matza balls.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6941IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg

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