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Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve talked quite a bit about growing up a predominantly Italian family, which was absolutely fabulous. My grandma made the most amazing food, and I still treasure our Sunday dinner tradition to this day. I don’t have nearly as much experience with other international foods, but I’m always looking for an excuse to experiment with new types of food. My Chief Culinary Consultant’s grandfather is Jewish, so I was thrilled when a trip to Florida a couple of years ago coincided with Rosh Hashanah. We were able to have dinner with my CCC’s parents and grandfather, and made some traditional dishes to celebrate the Jewish new year. You might remember the honey cake and noodle kugel, both of which I made for the occasion. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to make matzo ball soup, and I figured that Rosh Hashanah, which begins this evening, would be a perfect reason.

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Matzo ball soup is a very simple dish, made of chicken stock (or broth), sliced carrots, fresh parsley or dill and, of course, matzo balls. The matzo balls themselves are made of eggs, vegetable oil (although it’s said that chicken fat makes an even better matzo ball), water, matzo meal and some simple salt and pepper seasoning. The matzo balls are simmered in a pot of water until light and fluffy, then added to the stock mixture. I love how that this soup is both incredibly easy and satisfying all at once. True comfort food.

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

To all of my Jewish readers out there, L’shanah tovah!

If you are familiar with Jewish food, do you have any favorite recipes that are a must-try? Please feel free to share recommendations in the comments below!

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Cinnamon Roll Biscuits
Two years ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Butterscotch Crisp Cookies
Three years ago: Cinnamon Ice Cream
Four years ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Six years ago: Fresh Baked Italian Bread

Matzo Ball Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

An easy recipe for Matzo Ball soup, perfect for celebrating special Jewish holidays, or whipping up anytime throughout the year.

Ingredients:

For the Matzo Balls:
4 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
7 tablespoons water
1 cup matzo meal
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Soup:
2 quarts chicken stock
3 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1. Make the Matzo Balls: In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the vegetable oil, then the water. In a separate small bowl, stir together the matzo meal, salt and pepper. Stir the matzo mixture into the egg mixture. The consistency will initially be like pancake batter, but it will immediately begin to thicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.

2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. With moistened hands, form 1 tablespoon of matzo mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Drop the balls into the boiling water so that each falls into the pot in a different place, not crowding each other. When all of the balls are added, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer, ­covered, for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove one matzo ball, cut in half and check for doneness. The matzo ball is done when the inside is not dark or wet. If necessary, cook 5 to 10 additional minutes, or until the color is uniform throughout and the texture is light and fluffy (I did end up cooking mine for an additional 10 minutes).

3. Make the Soup: While the matzo balls are cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to the soup. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Notes:

  • If using Streit's brand matzo meal, reduce the amount of water to 6 tablespoons.
  • To create large matzo balls about 2½ inches in diameter, use 2 tablespoons of raw mixture and increase the cooking time to 35 to 40 minutes.

(Recipe from Cook's Illustrated)

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25 Responses to “Matzo Ball Soup”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on September 4, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I can’t believe how early and fast Rosh Hashanah seems to have snuck up this year. It’s like 90F in San Diego and it still feels utterly to hot out for it to be this time of year already. Your soup looks amazing. My husband’s family had a Jewish deli in Chicago for many years and I know he would love this soup if I made it for him!

    Reply

  2. Tieghan on September 4, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I have never had Matzo Ball soup, but I am totally up for trying it! Especially since we have been having cold rainy afternoons around here. This looks perfect!

    Reply

  3. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on September 4, 2013 at 3:59 am

    I haven’t had matzo ball soup often but every time I eat it I tell myself I’m going to make it at home. Now I will. :)

    Reply

  4. Anneka on September 4, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I’d recommend cooking the Matzo Balls in extra stock (not the stock you use for the soup and it drinks a lot of it) for added flavour. You can also add all sorts of flavours to the stock as you bring it to the boil for extra flavour – onion, butternut squash, old chicken bones, sometimes even a bit of shin beef. Every Jewish mother has their own version!

    Reply

  5. Allie B. on September 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

    My late German grandmother made matzo balls, but they are COMPLETELY different from what is usually found in the US: they’re made with whole matzot (that’s the plural of matzo), which have been quickly soaked in water, egg, a TINY bit of matzo meal – just enough to hold them together – and some parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. They’re also very small compared to the behemoths I’ve seen in the US, just about the size of a very small walnut. They were so light you had to climb a ladder to get them off the ceiling. To me, THOSE are real matzo balls, not the matzo meal things they seem to like here.

    Reply

  6. Alyssa on September 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I love chocolate covered matzah for Passover. You see it often made with Saltine crackers too. A half of a cup of sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1 bag (2 cups) of chocolate chips and about 5 sheets of matzah. Line a cookie sheet (with a lip) with foil and arrange matzah in one layer. Melt the butter and sugar over the stove and once it’s melted and bubbly, pour it over the matzah. Stick it in the oven for 11 minutes (be careful it doesn’t burn) at 400 and then when you take it out, pour the chocolate chips over it. Within a few minutes the chocolate will melt and you will be able to smooth the chocolate over the matzah. Let it cool and enjoy. Delicious!!!

    Reply

  7. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on September 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

    My hubby only wants soup every day for lunch so I have been trying to think of new soups to make. This is something I am adding to the list!

    Reply

  8. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I love Matzo ball soup and I’ve only made it once before.. so now it’s time to make it again! Love those additional carrots!

    Reply

  9. Belinda @themoonblushbaker on September 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I had this soup once when My friends Jewish granmother served it up for dinner once. I had never had such a comforting meal, I have been longing to have it again. Nothing better than this soup for the soul. Wonderful recipe!

    Reply

  10. liz leonard on September 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Well since I’ve been a Jew all my life, I might be able to fill you in on a few ideas. I have never used stock for my soup. Depending on how much you are making is how much chicken you’ll need. For this holiday.. tomorrow… I used 2 whole chickens and filled the pot with the chicken and water just to cover the chicken by 2-3 inch. If you want a clear broth then leave the chicken in. OR When the chicken starts to fall apart, remove it from the pot and allow to cool. The vegetables I use are onions, leek, celery, carrots, dill, parsnip and turnip. The parsnip and turnip(I don’t really don’t know why I put these in except that my grandmother and mother did it that way. If it aint broke don’t fix it … right) are tucked into a CLEAN knee hi stocking so when the soup is done you can just pull it out. From the picture you posted, it looks like your CCC’s grandfather must have come from the clear broth family. If that is the way you want to do it then put all of the vegies except the carrots in knee hi stockings and insert them in the liquid where you cooked the chicken. Dice the carrots and add as well. If not, then dice the vegies and add them directly to the liquid. When the chicken is cool enough so that you touching it without screaming, remove all the meat from the bones remove the skin and fat and cut the meat roughly and then add back to the soup. As the soups continues to cook on medium, skim the fat off the top. If necessary, you can add bouillon and then then season with salt and pepper.

    This is the way my family have had chicken soup for centuries. It may take a little more time and attention but I guarantee it is worth the wait. It freezes great so I usually make a huge pot and put containers in the freezer.

    As for your matzo balls…. I wouldn’t change a thing.. they sound perfect. I do hope you’ll try this version of chicken soup.

    Happy New Year to your Jewish parts…lol

    Liz

    Reply

    • Mary S on September 4th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      A woman after my own heart. Always wondered why there was the “Chicken Soup” and the “Matzo Ball Soup.” So close but so far apart, like to opposing magnets. I always wondered why didn’t the Jews put them together. It would truly be a stupendous soup! Well your family did it!! A blessing on your head, Mazel Tov!

      Reply

    • Steve R on September 5th, 2013 at 2:35 am

      Michelle–

      Thank you for the posting of Matzo ball soup. However, I must agree with Liz, this is not a time to use chicken stock! You have to make “matzo ball soup” in the best possible way, and that involves a soup like what Liz describes. Forget the knee sock. The parsnip and the turnip are there for a reason, not just tradition! They add additional flavor, complexity, balance, and sweetness. Once the soup is done, remove all the solids (chicken, veggies, bay leaf, etc). Chicken meat has no place in a holiday matzo ball soup. The matzo balls should not be cooked in the broth, but in water. Use a new bunch of sliced carrots for the finished soup (the ones used to make the soup have given their all). If the soup seems too thin and not rich enough, simmer it slowly (no boiling please) to concentrate it. Please, under no circumstance use bouillon. It is best to make the day before use, refrigerate overnight and remove the fat that will solidify at the top before reheating with the new carrots and the finished matzo balls. If there is interest, I can post the full recipe for the soup.

      Happy New Year

      Reply

      • Liza on October 1st, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Hi have to agree as well about the stock. Matzoh ball soup is not the time for stock from a can. That said, I disagree about the matzoh balls. I always cook them in the simmering broth to add more flavor and COVER THE POT so that the don’t turn out like hockey pucks. And don’t peek and let the steam escape, they will be done in 33 minutes on the dot every single time.

        Reply

  11. Arthur in the garden! on September 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Yummy! So good!

    Reply

  12. Stef Mysel on September 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Perfect timing! My hubby has neverr has Matzo Ball soup!

    Reply

  13. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com on September 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve never had matzo ball soup before! Don’t know why, this looks so delicious :)

    Reply

  14. AH@badassbookreviews on September 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I learned a lower fat matzoh ball recipe – you can use selzer water (club soda) in place of the oil. The matzoh balls come out delicious. I’ve always cooked the matzoh balls in just salted water, then added them to the soup as I was serving it.

    Reply

  15. Jenn on September 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I love matzo ball soup and love that the weather is getting cooler and I will make some again.

    Reply

  16. shoegal on September 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I agree. Real matzo balls would never be served in store bought chicken stock. It takes about an hour to make real stock and is 1000 times tastier.

    Reply

  17. Tracy on October 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Another quick Jewish mother secret: use schmultz (chicken fat) as your fat in your matzo balls. You will have plenty leftover from your soup and it really deepens the flavor of the matzo balls.

    Reply

  18. gisele gosselin on December 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I made them and the desintegrated in the broth and made a kind of very very liquid grit.

    why ???

    thanks

    gi

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 16th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Gisele, It sounds like perhaps the matzoh mixture wasn’t quite firm enough and maybe needed to chill a littler longer.

      Reply

  19. emma lazarus on January 7, 2014 at 7:42 am

    agreeing that stock should never be used! always make from scratch. pot, water, chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, turnip, parsnips, something green such as dill and or parsley. tie up herbs in cheesecloth if you’d like. bring to boil, then simmer a few hours on very low heat. let cool a bit, remove solids, separate out carrots and when cool enough, remove chicken from bones and dice in 1″ chunks, slice carrots and set chicken & carrots aside. using a strainer and several layers of cheesecloth, strain soup several times to remove all the little bits. recombine soup, chicken & carrots. as chickens are much leaner these days, and skimming the foam will greatly reduce the fat in your soup, depending on the taste, some chicken base may be stirred into the broth for a rounder, fuller taste. I have done this the past several years as the richness of the soup has lessened over time. definite difference over 20 years ago when as a teen I started making chicken soup. just depends on that particular pot of soup. as far as matzo balls…always used the recipe on the side of the manischewitz can…the old recipe…the new one is not right! also do in water, not broth and add to soup as served. undercook a bit for those people that like the heavy sinker type, such as my Daddy, or full boiling time for those that prefer the lighter floater type! enjoy!

    Reply

  20. wendy on April 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Traditionally for Passover but eaten all year round….also known as Kneidlach….I love matzo balls. Try adding a pinch of cinnamon to the mixture

    Reply

  21. Gay on May 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    A Jewish friend told me to leave the motza balls in the hot water, after they finished cooking, for 1 hour. Then remove and add to chicken broth. I don’t see this in any other motza ball soup recipe.

    Reply

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