Trisha Pérez Kennealy runs Lexington’s ever-so-cute Inn at Hastings Park, home to the Town Meeting restaurant, which is so New England it hurts. Pérez Kennealy is part of a blended family: a Puerto Rican Jew married to a Catholic. (Read our interview with her here!) The Lexington mom also has an amazing soup recipe, perfect as the weather begins to dip. Check it out below!

Matzoh Ball Soup

Servings: 8. Prep time: 20 minutes. Total time: 3 hours (if not storing the stock overnight).


  • For the stock:
  • 1 4-6 pound chicken, preferably kosher, with chicken bones, chicken backs and necks
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 3 onions, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 2 onions, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch chunks (use the inner ones and include the leaves)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 3 leeks, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 leek, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • Bouquet garni (use a celery stalk cut in half and kitchen twine to make a bundle of parsley, thyme and bay leaves)
  • For the matzoh balls:
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • ⅓ cup rendered chicken fat (either purchased or from chicken being used to make soup)
  • ½ cup seltzer
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the soup:
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 2 onions, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • 1 leek, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch dice
  • Shredded chicken from making stock


  1. For the stock: Place chicken and/or bones in a large stockpot. Cover with cold water. Water should be one inch over the chicken and bones.
  2. Bring water to a boil, frequently skimming the white and gray scum rising to the surface. The more diligent you are about skimming, the clearer your stock will be. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. This gentle method of cooking also prevents stock from becoming cloudy.
  3. Once you have skimmed the surface and there appears to be less scum coming to the surface (around 30-40 minutes, depending how well chicken was cleaned prior to cooking), add carrots, onions, celery and bouquet garni for an additional two hours. About 45 minutes into the cooking process, take the whole chicken out and remove all of the meat from the bones and return the bones to the stock for the remaining time. (Use the poached chicken to serve in the soup as well as in salads.)
  4. Strain stock through a fine strainer or line a colander with cheesecloth to produce a clear stock.
  5. At this stage, stock can be cooled and chilled to then facilitate removing the fat once it has solidified. Stock can be portioned and frozen for future use. Fat can also be used to make the matzoh balls.
  6. For the matzoh balls: Beat eggs in a large bowl.
  7. Add seltzer, chicken fat (make sure chicken fat is warm, not hot, as it will cook eggs if too hot), salt and pepper to the beaten eggs.
  8. Add matzoh meal and stir, being careful to not overmix. Taste the raw mix to test for seasoning, or cook a small ball in boiling water to taste.
  9. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  10. To portion the balls, use an ice cream scoop the same size of the matzoh balls you desire.
  11. Drop the matzoh balls into a pot of simmering stock.
  12. Allow stock to simmer again and cook covered for 25-30 minutes.
  13. For the soup: Sauté vegetables in olive oil and a little salt on medium-low heat, until cooked to your liking. (Al dente usually takes about 10-15 minutes to cook.)
  14. Heat chicken stock to desired temperature. Remember to season your stock at this point, as you have not added any seasoning yet. Kosher chicken is brined in salt water, so it does flavor the stock more than a non-kosher chicken.
  15. Arrange bowls with cooked vegetables, poached chicken and matzoh balls and ladle hot soup over all of it.