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Matzo Ball Soup

With Passover just around the corner and Spring taking its sweet time this year in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, we thought it would be a good time to revisit our old, comforting friend: Matzo Ball Soup. You can fancify this recipe any way you please... fortify the matzo balls with shmaltz, adorn the broth with coarsely-chopped vegetables, shredded greens, and pieces of chicken thigh meat... the variations are endless. For us, the key is a strong broth, light, fluffy, and well-seasoned matzo balls, plenty of herbs, and a good appetite. Enjoy!

Other articles you might enjoy: Portuguese Greens Soup, Borscht With Meat, Roasted Tomato Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
7 1/2 cups

Beat in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute:
     4 eggs
     (2 to 3 tablespoons chicken fat)
     1 teaspoon salt
Stir in:
     2 tablespoons snipped dill
     (12 cup finely diced fennel)
     (4 teaspoons snipped fresh chives or dried minced chives or 2 tablespoons chopped parsley)
     13 cup plus 1 tablespoon soda water
Fold in until well blended:
     1 cup matzo meal
     14 teaspoon black pepper
     (1 teaspoon curry powder)
     (1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. With wet hands, form the matzo mixture into 2-inch balls. Drop gently, one at a time, into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. When the matzo balls are almost cooked, heat in a soup pot:
     6 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
Season with:
     114 teaspoons salt
     (14 teaspoon black pepper)
Add the matzo balls to the stock. Ladle the stock into warmed bowls, with 2 matzo balls in each bowl.

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Note: This is a fairly rich, thick soup, so you may want to dilute it with more buttermilk or milk to taste. I like to add a whole serrano pepper to the soup instead of ground red pepper for a...