Jewish Matzo(Matzah) Ball Soup

Jewish Matzo(Matzah) Ball Soup… You know, I’ve never had matzo ball soup  before… well, until a few weeks ago in NYC… at the Carnegie Deli. Oh, I’ve actually known about the soup for a long time, just never tried it before. And the reason being, is that all this time I thought, ” Neah, it can’t be better than the Romanian version of Chicken Soup with Farina Dumplings (or Supa de Galuste).” Ashamedly not the best attitude… because when one isn’t open minded, one misses out. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised to find out that matzo soup is right up there with the supa de galuste. It’s equally delicious… even though they’re both slightly different from one another. I’m so, so glad I finally tried it! Plus, it actually gives me an excuse to switch from one soup to the other:).
So if you remember, when I made the shredded chicken in my pressure cooker, I had some leftover chicken stock. And since I had some matzo meal on hand, I decided to make a quick matzo soup. Even with the stock being lighter in color from not using chicken bones, it still tasted delicious! It’s funny how the photo actually makes the stock look like water, but the lighting was off that day… it really was chicken stock:). 
In any case, I thought I would share this recipe that’s become a favorite of mine. Real comfort food. Great soup for those cloudy and dreary days…. or when you just need to take the chill off from all the shoveling:). Oh, and I forgot to mention, the soup re-heats quite well  because the matzo balls don’t fall apart. So in reality, it would be a great make-ahead sort of meal you can give to someone who’s fighting a cold… or just to cheer them up. Great even for the elderly, a new mom, or as a dish to bring to a gathering. We absolutely loved this soup! Hope you enjoy…    
You will need: matzo ball ingredients taken from the back of the matzo meal box:)

Matzo Balls: makes about 8 (1 1/2 TBS) balls
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten (I forgot to beat mine)
2 TBS oil (can use chicken fat) 
kosher salt to taste( I used a big pinch)
1/4 tsp dried onion, powdered, optional but quite tasty
2 TBS chicken stock (can use water, I suppose)
For Soup:
8 cups prepared chicken stock(or as needed), homemade is best*
1 cooked carrot, thinly sliced, optional
a few sprigs of dill, parsley, celery leaves, etc. thinly sliced
thinly sliced leeks, green onion, totally optional
freshly ground black pepper, optional
* I ended up using the stock from when I made my pressure cooker shredded chicken, so it’s lighter than normal

1. Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
2. Add 6 cups of water to medium sized pot. Salt water well… as you would pasta water.
3. Bring water to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
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4. Wet or oil your hands and form matzo balls… I like to use the 1 1/2 TBS cookie scooper and then  lightly shape into balls. Roll them loosely. Do not compact the mixture as you roll. You want to use as light of a hand as possible when rolling. This ensures your matzo balls won’t be heavy.
5. Drop the balls into simmering salted water… one at a time. 
As a side note: You can cook the matzo balls directly in your chicken stock, if you like… it will just make the soup a bit more cloudy. 
6. Cover the pot and cook for 30- 40 minutes.
Assemble Soup:
1. Bring prepared chicken stock to a simmer… add any cooked carrot slices you may have from making the chicken stock… or omit.  
2. Ladle some soup in a bowl, add 2-3 matzo balls and sprinkle any fresh herbs, or sliced leeks/green onion. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

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