Swiss Chard and Tomato Soup with Matzo Balls

Inspired by North African couscous soup, this is one of our family favorites. To make it even more substantial and multi-ethnic, I serve the soup with matzo balls.

Ingredients (serves 10)
  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • olive oil for frying

  • 4 carrots, diced

  • 3 potatoes, diced

  • 4 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 8 cups clear chicken broth (or stock)

  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (leaves chopped coarsely, stalks – chopped finely)

  • 1 tablespoon hawaiij spice mix

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • For the matzo balls:

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1/2 sparkling water (or club soda)

  • 1 cup matzo meal

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

  • salt and pepper to taste


photo: Ilan Gur

Prepare the soup: In a large pot sauté onions until golden.


Add carrots, potatoes and celery, and sauté briefly. Season with paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the Swiss Chard and the remaining 7 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Season with hawaiij, salt and pepper and cook for about 40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning


While the soup is cooking, make the matzo balls: mix all the ingredients into a smooth batter and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Using 2 spoons or wet hands, make balls the size of large cherries and slide into the simmering soup. Cook for 10-15 minutes.


Before serving, squeeze some lemon juice and adjust seasoning. All soups taste better the next day, and this one is no exception.