matzah ball soup


For a few days I have been thinking about making matzah ball soup so I can achieve fully the inner Jewish grandma status I’ve always wanted to be. Sure, I won’t actually get there. But the soup has been made for the very first time. It can certainly be improved, but it was a good first try and lovely for a rainy, stormy day.

I adapted this Bon Appetit recipe, which was okay, but I am going to look at other methods.

I also had to buy a new, giant stock pot.

for the chicken stock (this includes the adaptations I made)

2 3-lb. chickens, cut into 8 pieces
2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
6 celery stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
2 large shallots, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Bring all ingredients and 12 cups cold water to a boil in a very large (at least 12-qt.) stockpot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Transfer breasts to a plate (remaining chicken parts are strictly for stock). Let breasts cool slightly, then remove meat and return bones to stock. Shred meat. Let cool, tightly wrap, and chill.

Continue to simmer stock, skimming surface occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 hours. Strain chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan (or airtight container, if not using right away); discard solids. You should have about 8 cups.

matzah mixture

3 large eggs, beaten to blend
¾ cup matzah meal
¼ cup schmaltz (chicken fat), melted
3 tablespoons club soda (I didn’t use this because I forgot to buy it – it probably would have helped… but oh well. Next time)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Mix eggs, matzah meal, schmaltz, club soda, and salt in a medium bowl (mixture will resemble wet sand; it will firm up as it rests). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

assemble and serve

1 small carrot, peeled, sliced ¼” thick on a diagonal
Kosher salt, to taste – don’t go too crazy with it
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill (I hate dill so I did not use this)
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat, add reserved breast meat, and cover. Set soup aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Scoop out 2-tablespoonful portions matzah ball mixture and, using wet hands, gently roll into balls.

Add matzah balls to water and reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer (too much bouncing around will break them up). Cover pot and cook matzah balls until cooked through and starting to sink, 20–25 minutes.

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