Matzo ball soup was one major benefit of converting to Judaism before I married my husband. It’s traditionally eaten during Passover (in the spring), but I find that it makes the perfect food for a cold winter day.
Matzo ball soup isn’t much work to make, but it does require a good amount of time, especially if you are making the soup broth from scratch, so it’s best to start earlier in the day or the night before if you want to eat it for dinner. Most of that time is just waiting, so you can get plenty of other things done!
I didn’t include instructions for the soup itself. Any basic chicken or veggie broth will work. I make mine by simmering a whole chicken for a few hours in salted water until the meat is cooked, removing the meat, and then cooking the bones for another few hours. Then I refrigerate the broth, skim off the fat, and the next day I add carrots, onions, celery, and parsnips, and sometimes soy sauce or fresh herbs, and cook for about an hour until everything is cooked and it’s ready to serve.
Credit for the matzo ball recipe goes to my mother in law. The cinnamon may sound weird, but don’t leave it out – it really gives them a great flavor! It’s also important to boil the matzo balls separately from the soup. If you cook them in the soup, it will turn white and floury tasting.
2.5 tbs fat or oil (chicken fat, melted butter, or olive oil all work)
3/4 c. matzo meal (if you can’t find it, crush matzo into breadcrumb-sized pieces)
1 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of pepper
1/4 c. warm water or soup
1. Combine the fat and eggs and beat well.
2. Add water/soup, salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Add enough matzo meal to make a thick paste.
3. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the pot to boil, wet hands with cold water and shape dough into small balls. Continue to wet hands if the dough starts sticking.
5. When water is boiling, add salt and then matzo balls. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Serve in soup.