Moist Matzo Ball Soup
This Jewish Passover staple is a delightful dish of warm comfort for anyone on a cold day. Known as “Jewish Penicillin”, it may not cure everything, but it makes one not care anymore.
I have been cooking this soup for many years, picking up pointers here and there from chefs and Jewish moms alike. I think I have found the perfect elixir.
- 2 large yellow onions halved
- 3 carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 KOSHER chicken 3-lb
- 3 lbs chicken bones neck included
- 12 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Chopped fresh dill leaves
- 6 tbsp chicken fat (If you didn’t get 6from the stock add margarine and mix well
- 3 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 tbsp 7-Up Yes the Soda
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Small Dash of Cream of Tartar
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup matzo meal
Notice the vegetables are not diced or cubed. Don’t worry about it. You are throwing them away anyway. I would chop up the parsley and thyme a little bit just to get the juices flowing from them. Note: Do not remove the skins from the onions. It helps give the broth the nice yellow chicken soup colour.
The key to great chicken stock, and even better matzo balls is the chicken. Kosher chickens seem to have the best fat content. Fat content is important later on as the fat is integral to the success of nice creamy matzo balls.
Throw everything except the dill in a large stock pot. Fill with water until 3 or 4 inches above all the solids. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not boil on high. Bringing the stock to a boil over medium heat helps coax all the flavours from the vegetable and chicken. Reduce heat to medium low and maintain a soft boil. Every 10 or fifteen minutes, ladle off the scum from the top of the broth. DO NOT SKIM the fat. Do this for about 3 hours.
After three hours, strain out the solids. and return the broth to the heat. Cook until the broth reduces by about 25%. Add the finely chopped fresh dill and simmer for 10 more minutes. Let the broth cool to room temperature. Place cooled broth in the refrigerator for a few hours so all the fat from the chicken solidifies on top. Remove the fat from the top of the broth and put aside. This is needed for the Matzo Balls.
Warm up the chicken fat (schmaltz) in a saucepan. Add the chives and cook for a minute or two. No need to fry or scorch, just slowly cook. Set aside and allow to cool for a bit.
Separate egg whites, and place yolks in a large bowl. Use an electric or hand beater to froth the whites with just a dash of cream of tarter. You want tight bubbles, but not meringue. Pour this into the large bowl with the yolks. Add the 7-up and whisk a little to blend. Toss everything else, except matzo meal and schmaltz, in and whisk. Once everything is well blended, add the schmaltz and matzo meal and mix until evenly blended. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 if not 24 hours.
After mixture has set for at least 8 hours, bring a large pot of water to a boil (add a pinch of salt). Form 8 or 12 equal size balls in your hands. Place them in the pot. Simmer for about 90 minutes. Do not allow a rolling boil. Even though the balls will float after about 20 minutes, the longer they simmer the more tender they become. Stir now and then to achieve equal cooking.
Transfer the matzo balls to the chicken stock and let simmer for about 10 minutes. SERVE!!