When it comes to chicken soup, I am a dumpling girl. My husband, though, likes matzo balls. He lived in Pittsburgh for a few years while he was growing up, where he frequently enjoyed leftover food from the Temple where his uncle worked. He talks all the time about the wonderful desserts and the chicken soup his uncle brought home. What better time to indulge his love of Matzo Ball Soup than at Passover?
I can't vouch for this soup's authenticity. I just worked on it until it tasted like what he remembered. And although I made it primarily to please him, both my kids ate a giant bowl of it, so that pleased me, too.
Matzo Ball Soup
- 4 chicken thighs
- 10-12 c. cold water
- 2-3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into large pieces
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4" coins
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 t. coarse kosher salt
Place chicken thighs in bottom of large stockpot. Cover with cold water by a few inches.
Heat, uncovered, over med-high heat until foam accumulates on water. Skim foam.
When all foam has been skimmed, add carrots, celery, onion, and salt. Cover; reduce heat to med-low and simmer for about 1-1 1/2 hours, or until meat is fully cooked.
Remove from heat.
Using tongs, remove chicken thighs from broth and let cool until they can be handled. Discard chicken skin and bones, and shred meat. Set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from broth. Add to reserved meat.
Strain cooled broth through a colander, then through a fine sieve.
Recombine strained broth, meat and vegetables in a clean stockpot. Warm soup over low heat.
Prepare matzo balls:
- 4 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 T. vegetable oil
- 1 c. matzo meal
- large pinch kosher salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1 t. minced dill
- 4 T. seltzer water
In a medium bowl, mix oil, eggs, matzo meal and spices. Blend. Add seltzer water and mix well. Cover and chill for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
After dough has chilled, form it into golf-ball sized matzo balls. Having wet hands will help make the dough less sticky.
Reduce heat to med-low and drop matzo balls into water. Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
When matzo balls are fully cooked, remove them from heat and add to chicken soup to serve.