Matzoh Ball Soup

April 21, 2008

In honor of Passover, I thought I’d make a nice big pot of matzoh ball soup today.  Matzoh ball soup is very similar to chicken and dumplings and both work wonders on the common cold and the winter doldrums.  It’s mid-spring here which is still perfect weather for matzoh ball soup.  My son is a chicken soup lover and he especially loves large matzoh balls floating in a savory broth. 

Matzoh ball soup is usually an all-day meal, starting in the morning to make the broth.  I set it aside until about 5pm when I make the matzoh balls and usually have dinner on the table by 6:30.  If you like a light and fluffy matzoh ball, you’ll love this recipe.  The seltzer water is key.  Well, that and the chicken fat.


New York Penicillin

Matzoh Ball Soup

1 whole chicken, cut up

4 quarts water

5 carrots

6 stalks of celery

3 onions

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

2 bay leaves

5-7 whole peppercorns

salt and pepper to taste

 Put cut up chicken, half of the parsley, 2 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 2 of the onions, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large stock pot.  You do not need to peel the vegetables, although you should cut the carrots and celery in half to fit in the pot.  Bring to a boil then put on low.  Cover and simmer for about 2-3 hours.

Take out the chicken and let cool.  Drain the broth, straining and discarding the vegetables.  Set the broth aside. 

Skim as much of the fat as possible and place in the refrigerator to solidify (you’ll need the chicken fat for the matzoh balls).  Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones.  (This is usually too much chicken for one pot of soup.  I usually take half of the chicken and save it for some sort of chicken recipe like casseroles, salad, enchiladas, etc.)

Make matzoh balls about 1-1/2 hours before you plan to eat.  Once you have the matzoh balls boiling, put the chicken broth on medium heat and cut up the remaining 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, and onion.  Add to broth along with a bay leaf and simmer for half an hour.  In the last 5 minutes, add the chicken and remaining chopped parsley.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Matzoh Balls

4 eggs

1/4 C. seltzer water

3 Tbs. chicken fat

1 C. matzoh meal (you can buy the matzoh cracker and zap it in the food processor or buy pre-zapped matzoh meal)

salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs lightly in a medium bowl.  Add seltzer and semi-solidified chicken fat (you can substitute oil or melted butter), mixing well.  Add matzoh meal and mix until combined. 

Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.   Once cold, put a pot of water to boil.  Wet hands with cold water and form small balls about 1 1/4″ in diameter.  

Drop matzoh balls in boiling water and cook for half an hour. 

Take out with a slotted spoon and transfer straight to the simmering pot of chicken soup and simmer for about 10-15 more minutes.


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