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Skye Gyngell of Spring and Heckfield Place says her chicken soup with matzo balls is a tip-top pick-me-up

Skye Gyngell

I love this comforting and soothing soup. It’s gentle in flavour and feels good not only for your body but also your mind. Choose organic, free range chicken for a soup that is full of flavour and goodness.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

For the soup
1 large organic chicken
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 yellow onion
1 leek
1 bay leaf
5 peppercorns
1 star anise
1 small green chilli
1 bunch of coriander
1 thumb of ginger
5 garlic cloves
500g chicken bones
Handful of chervil
Handful of tarragon
Handful of dill
1 head of shredded collard greens (or any green of your choice)

For the matzo balls
4 eggs
100g breadcrumbs
or matzo
A large pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
10g sourdough starter (if available)
30g chicken schmaltz (or use melted butter as a substitute)
3 tbsp chopped chervil, tarragon
and dill

Chicken soup with matzo balls

1. Take a large pot big enough to fit the chicken happily and fill with cold water. Place the chicken in, making sure it is just covered. Add the carrot, celery, onion, leek, bay leaf, peppercorns, star anise, green chilli, ginger, garlic and the coriander stems, reserving the leaves for later.

2. Bring to a simmer being careful to skim any white scum that may come to the surface. While the chicken is poaching, roast the chicken bones in an oven at 180C until golden brown. After the chicken has had 40 minutes simmering, remove it from the pot and rest in a large bowl.

3. When cool enough to handle, take the chicken from the bone, tear into 5cm pieces and leave to chill in the fridge. You can put the carcass back into the poaching liquid for extra flavour if you wish. Remove the chicken bones from the oven and add to the chicken cooking liquid, then leave to simmer for 2 to 3 hours to really develop the flavour.

4. While the broth simmers, make the matzo balls. Beat the eggs and add in all of the other ingredients. Chill the mix for 15 minutes, then with wet hands roll into 12 to 15 even-sized balls. Place the balls in the fridge until the broth is done.

5. Taste the soup and adjust any seasoning, then strain through a fine colander or sieve into another large pot. Add the chicken meat back to the stock and bring to a simmer, then add the chilled matzo balls and leave for 5 minutes on a low heat. Next, add the shredded collard greens and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6. Once everything is added and simmered appropriately, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped herbs including the coriander leaves. To finish, ladle the soup into bowls, serving 3 dumplings with each.