I’m not Jewish. But I am definitely a matzo ball lover.
It all started with late night jaunts to the classic Canters Deli where I became an obsessive fan of matzo ball soup with all the fixins’: noodle, matzo ball, kreplach, chicken and carrots. What the crap is a kerplach you ask? It’s sort of a jewish tortellini and pretty darned good.
But oh, THE BROTH. That delicious broth that brought me back to my senses in those wee late night hours. If only I could replicate it—the broth, not the late hours. But I’m no Jewish mother—although my husband will say I do have the stereotypical tendencies. Sadly, those secret, Old World ways of chicken broth making may never make it to my stove.
But I do have a delicious recipe that hits home and curbs my matzo ball craving every time. And what better time to share with you than in celebration of Passover and Easter weekend. Yum. You’ll soon be a believer.
This ingredient list looks long, but is really easy. If you’re making your own broth, the key is a long, slow simmer for all of those veggie and chicken flavors to marry in holy matzo-mony.
Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken Meatballs
for chicken broth:
makes about 4-5 quarts
adapted from Ina Garten
1 4-pound whole organic or kosher chicken, giblets and neck removed from cavity
1 leek, white part only
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise (don’t remove skin)
5 carrots, chopped in 4-5 chunks
5 ribs celery, chopped in 4-5 chunks
1 onion, cut in half crosswise (don’t remove skin)
20 sprigs Italian parsley
20 sprigs fresh thyme on stem
1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1. Place chicken and all vegetables and spices in a large stockpot. Cover with 6 quarts of water.
2. Over high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for four to five hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
3. Strain pot and discard vegetables. Chicken meat can be refrigerated and saved for another use. Skim broth and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove fat from surface, skim broth again and reheat and simmer for soup. Can be made 3 days in advance.
makes about 35 meatballs
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/2 onion, minced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup matzo meal
kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1. In a large bowl, combine ingredients until just combined.
2. Form meatballs in 1/2” balls. Heat a large skilled on medium, add oil and cook in batches, turning frequently, 3-4 minutes total. Set aside.
Can be made 2 days in advance.
for matzo balls:
makes about 6 large balls
I use Manischewitz Matzo ball mix. Follow package directions and add chopped parsley or dill if desired. Keep warm until served.
Note #1: Matzo balls need to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour prior to cooking.
Note #2: I cook the matzo balls directly in the chicken stock rather than water. Don’t let the matzo balls sit in the broth however, or they’ll soak all of your broth away.
3 cups egg free noodles
4 carrots, sliced
1/8 cup parsley or dill
4 quarts chicken broth or stock (recipe above, or if you don’t make your own, Kitchen Basics makes a good alternative)
chicken meatballs (recipe above)
1. In a large stockpot, bring chicken stock to a boil and cook pasta and carrots for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer, add chicken meatballs and cook for 5 minutes more or until meatballs are warmed through.
2. Place matzo balls in bowls and ladle in soup, carrots, noodles and chicken meatballs. Garnish with parsley and serve.
And now for a few more recipes to round out your Passover dinner. If you’re looking for an introduction to Passover meals or are already Kosher and need some celebration inspiration, check out the collection of recipes and bloggers featured by Tori of The Shiksa in the Kitchen in her The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck.
photo > Baked Bree
Wine, chili sauce, thyme and oh so delicious onions make Bree’s mother’s recipe for Baked Bree’s Passover Brisket a go-to recipe favorite any time of year. Oh yeah, take me to Seder.
photo > Domestic Fits
Jackie’s savory recipe for Domestic Fits’ Roasted Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is a unique twist on traditional risotto and is now protein packed with this super grain. Oh, and don’t forget, kosher too. (Jackie’s recipe is a guest post for The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck. Check out more of Jackie’s recipes at Domestic Fits.)
photo > Hippo Flambe
What kind of sucker am I for coconut and Macaroons. Robin goes a step beyone the unusual ingredient list: she foregoes egg whites only and uses the whole egg, making Hippo Flambé’s Kosher Macaroons tender on the inside and coco-for-crispy on the outside.
For more soup recipes to help celebrate spring:
New England Clam Chowder
Bloody Mary Gazpacho
Pho Gai Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup