The best healthy ‘comfort food’ for difficult times

There’s something about soup.

When I was a kid, my mom used to call it “a one-bowl meal.” And, if you do it right, it is just that: loaded with nutrition and taste, and needling little else to go with it except possibly a chunk of crusty bread or a salad.

My favorite is the quintessential Passover soup.

Matzo Ball Soup

This is a simple recipe that even a beginner can make.



1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 chicken breast (about ¾ lb.)
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
freshly cracked pepper
few sprigs fresh dill

Matzo balls:
3 large eggs
3 Tbsps. vegetable or canola oil
¾ c. matzo meal
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
freshly cracked pepper
3 Tbsps. water

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  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about five minutes).
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, 2 cups of water, some freshly cracked pepper, and 1-2 sprigs of dill to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, mix the matzo ball dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add the matzo meal, salt, baking powder and a little of the pepper. Stir until well combined. Finally, add 3 Tbsps. water and stir until smooth again. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After the chicken soup has simmered, carefully remove the chicken breast and shred it with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed.
  5. Once the matzo ball mix has refrigerated and stiffened, begin to form it into small balls (the size of ping-pong balls). Drop the balls into the simmering soup as they are formed, covering the pot again after each one. Once all the matzo balls are in the soup, let them simmer for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time! Make sure the soup is simmering gently the entire time.
  6. Add a couple of sprigs of fresh dill before serving.

In case you’re not a fan of chicken soup, here are four other hearty, healthy, comforting soups you can try while you’re at home.

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  1. 14 Soups You Can Make for Less Than $2 Per Serving — SELF
Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.