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Recipe in Spotlight - Not-Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup

Lisa Kohn shares her recipe for Not-Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup.

Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

I’m helping to host a Seder this year – since it will be my first vegetarian Seder experience, I’m looking forward to making Not-Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup for the first time. Thanks to the Katch family for sharing their traditional recipe!

Not-Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup

Adapted from Mollie Katzen


8 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 8-inch parsnip, cut in chunks

3 large carrots, cut in chunks

2 medium onions, cut in chunks

8 to 10 (or more) cloves garlic, halved

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

a handful of mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

black pepper to taste


1. Combine everything in a large pot.

2. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and partially cover.

3. Cook slowly for 1-2 hours.

4. Turn off heat and let soup cool to room temperature.

5. Strain out all the vegetables (and feel free to munch on them).

6. Heat gently just before serving.


Lisa Kohn is a Policy Assistant in the Domestic Policy Council.