Seattle, WA

Rachel Belle is the Seattle-based host and co-producer of the James Beard Award nominated podcast, “Your Last Meal.” She is an award winning feature reporter and host on Seattle’s KIRO Radio and a freelance food writer who is always in the mood for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.


Matzo Ball Soup

I have never met a person who doesn’t love this matzo ball soup, and my mom’s addition of parsnips and fresh dill make it special. I used to only make this on Passover until I had an epiphany: I can make this all year long (I live in Seattle, it’s always soup weather)!


  • 3 quarts chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium from a box you like. If making homemade stock, I highly recommend roasting your bones/chicken and vegetables in the oven, until caramelized, before they reach the stock pot of water. It makes for an incomparably rich and flavorful stock.
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into discs on the bias
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped + all the celery leaves on the stalks
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges, petals separated
  • 2 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into even chunks
  • About 1.5 lbs organic chicken legs, skin on (the fat gives the broth good flavor)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • Salt to taste    
  • 1 package matzo ball mix (Don’t give me that look! The packaged matzo balls are delicious & no one will know the difference! Read and follow package directions. You will need eggs and oil.)


Pour stock into a large soup pot and throw in the chicken legs and onion. When the soup comes to a boil, turn down the heat to maintain a low and steady simmer. Cook about 30 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and let rest until cool enough to handle. Use your fingers to pull the meat from the bones and shred as much or as little as you like. I like to leave the nice, silky chunks intact. Add the chicken back to the pot. Add all the remaining vegetables and the entire bunch of dill, stems and all. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Taste the broth and salt to your taste, if it needs it. Skim any unsavory looking foam off the top as it cooks, but don’t remove all the fat. When the soup is done, leave it on a low simmer while you prepare the matzoh balls. Follow package instructions except one: boil them in the soup, not in a separate pot of water. When the matzoh balls are fluffy and float to the surface, they’re done. Serve!