$6.90 RECIPE / $1.38 SERVING
With long days and loads of fun activities, I was a little worn out this past weekend.
So when I eventually arrived in New Orleans, I was exhausted, achy, and in desperate need of a warm, comforting lunch. Matzo ball soup had been on my “must-do” list for a while, and I figured now was the perfect moment to try it.
MATZO BALL SOUP
Matzo Soup, also known as Matzah Ball Soup, is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish meal that is frequently eaten during Passover.
It’s a chicken soup with delectable matzah meal (crushed unleavened bread), eggs, chicken grease (or another fat or oil), and broth dumplings.
The dumplings simmer in the soup, absorbing all of the delightful flavors as they do so. This soup is truly wonderful and soul-warming, and there is nothing else like it in the world.
I’M A NEWBIE
I’ll admit that I’d never made matzo ball soup before this week, but part of the point of this blog is to share what I’m learning with you.
I read some wonderful matzo ball lessons and myth busters on Serious Eats, searched through a billion matzo ball soup recipes, and then felt secure enough to try it myself.
I combined the instructions on the matzo meal bag with the advice from Serious Eats to create a hybrid recipe. They were surprisingly easy to cook, and the finished soup felt like a giant hug. Success!
TRY ONE OF THESE ORIGINAL MATZO BALL SOUP RECIPE
Check out some of these actual Matzo Ball Soup Recipes to learn what it’s all about before you attempt the version I made below.
In the process, you’ll hopefully learn more about the rich culture and history that surrounds this delicious soup.
MATZO BALL SOUP
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil ($0.04)
- 2 cloves of garlic ($0.16)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
- 3 carrots ($0.32)
- 3 stalks of celery ($0.56)
- 1 chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.)* ($1.33)
- 6 cups chicken broth** ($0.76)
- 2 cups of water ($0.00)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
- Few sprigs of fresh dill ($1.19)
- 3 large eggs ($1.13)
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil ($0.12)
- 3/4 cup matzo meal ($0.80)
- 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder ($0.02)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
- 3 Tbsp. water ($0.00)
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE MATZO BALL SOUP
- Garlic should be minced, and the onion, celery, and carrots should be diced. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots with the vegetable oil until the onions are tender and transparent (about five minutes).
- In a large pot, combine the chicken breast, chicken broth, 2 cups water, freshly cracked pepper, and one or two dill sprigs. Put the lid on the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes once it reaches a boil.
- Mix the matzo ball dough while the soup is cooking. Whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil in a medium mixing basin. Toss the eggs and oil with the matzo meal, salt, baking powder, and a pinch of freshly cracked pepper. Stir until everything is completely blended. Finally, whisk in 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Allow the matzo meal to absorb the moisture by chilling the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breast from the soup and shred it with a fork once it has simmered. Return to the soup with the shredded chicken. If necessary, adjust the salt in the broth.
- Form the matzo ball mixture into ping pong-sized balls when it has chilled and solidified. As the balls are created, drop them into the simmering soup, replacing the lid to the pot after each one. Allow the matzo balls to cook in the broth for 20 minutes without removing the top. Throughout the process, make sure the soup is softly simmering.
- Just before serving, sprigs of fresh dill are added.
*bought my chicken breasts at a discount. Boneless, skinless, or bone-in with skin on are all options.
The finest flavor comes from bone-in chicken, but make sure to remove the skin before adding it to the soup. When shredding the chicken, the bones can be removed.
**I produce affordable broth in the exact amount I need with Better Than Bouillon.
NUTRITION IN MATZO BALL SOUP
- Serving: 2 Cups
- Calories: 317.98 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 23.36 g
- Protein: 18.14 g
- Fat: 17.66 g
- Sodium: 1724.1 mg
- Fiber: 1.96 g
STEPS TO MAKE MATZO BALL SOUP
- As a vehicle for my matzo balls, I created a really simple/quick chicken soup. It starts with two garlic cloves, one yellow onion, three carrots, and three celery stalks. Garlic should be minced, and the onion, carrots, and celery should be diced.
- In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery with 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil until the onions are tender and transparent (about five minutes). Add one chicken breast (about 3/4 pound) once the onions have softened. You can buy skin-on or bone-in chicken, but make sure the skin is removed first. The bones can be discarded when shredding the chicken and will add a lot of flavor to the soup.
- Also 6 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water (or all chicken broth, if you prefer). Add a few dill sprigs and some freshly cracked pepper as well. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat to low. Allow 30 minutes for the soup to boil. I make broth with Better Than Bouillon because it has a terrific flavor, is less expensive than boxed or canned broths, and lasts almost indefinitely in the refrigerator.
- Mix the matzo ball dough while the soup is cooking. In a mixing dish, combine 3 big eggs and 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil. Blend until completely smooth.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup matzo meal, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of freshly cracked pepper, and 3 tablespoons water. Stir until completely smooth. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the matzo to absorb water and plump up.
- By the way, this is how the matzo meal looks. It’s like bread crumbs, but with cracker crumbs instead. It’s important to emphasize that this is a matzo meal, not a matzo ball “mix.”
- Remove the chicken breast and shred it with two forks after the soup has simmered for about 30 minutes.
- Return to the soup with the shredded chicken. If necessary, adjust the salt in the broth.
- The matzo ball mix should be stiffer and dryer after it has been chilled.
- Make little balls out of the matzo ball dough, roughly the size of ping pong balls. Remember that they will puff up somewhat while they cook. My mixture yielded roughly 15 balls. As the balls are made, drop them one by one into the simmering soup, making sure to replace the lid after each one (to keep the broth simmering).
- Allow for a 20-minute simmer once all of the matzo balls have been added to the broth. As long as the broth is simmering, the lid should not be removed.
- Add a few additional sprigs of fresh dill once the matzo balls have puffed and cooked through, and serve!
So comforting and wonderful!
Chicken and dumplings are always a winner… in any form!