What To Serve With Easy Matzo Ball Soup
This Matzo Ball Soup is hearty and comforting full of protein, carbs and veggies, so it doesnt need much as far as sides go. We love this cozy soup with fresh sides such as salad and fruit. Here are some of our favorites :
- Fruit: Bright, fresh fruit is always a welcome side to any cozy soup. Go as simple as grapes, melon, etc. or youll love Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette or Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
Amazing Food For Those With Sensitive Tummy
I know its not advertised as such, and its not an RX food, however we went through the ringer with my yorkies belly issues. He has pancreatitis as well as sensitivities and didnt seem to digest kibble well anymore. But very few canned foods are low enough in fat on a DRY MATTER BASIS to be acceptable for him with his pancreatitis. Their website lists all these %s out in their detailed nutritional analyses and the company has always answered any of my questions in detail. Its expensive but worth it to have his belly be happy finally. We feed Grandmas chicken soup as well as jammin salmon and cirque de le mer .
Can I Open The Pot
I’ve read a few recipes that plead with the reader not to uncover the pot at all while the matzo balls simmer, lest some terrible fate befalls them. I was skeptical, so I set up three pots, one of which I left uncovered the whole time, one of which I opened every ten minutes or so during the hour-long simmer, and one that remained covered the entire time.
Below are my results. From left, we have the always-covered matzo ball, then the frequently uncovered matzo ball, and finally the never-covered matzo ball.
Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer
As you can see, the matzo ball that was never covered failed to swell as much, and developed an unsightly brown color where it was exposed to air. Clearly, matzo balls need to be covered.
But I saw no significant difference between those matzo balls that were cooked covered the entire time and those that had their lid lifted during the cooking process. As far as I can tell, there’s not much risk to uncovering the pot for short periods if you desperately feel the need to peek inside.
Our Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
In a medium to large mixing bowl, add the matzo meal, vegetable oil , stock , eggs, and nutmeg. At this point, you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon baking powder for lighter matzo balls, or omit the baking powder altogether if you like your matzo balls denser.
Season with a teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
Gently mix all the ingredients together with a fork, and dont overwork the mixture. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To make the soup, add the chicken/vegetable stock to a pot along with the diced celery, carrots, and onion.
Bring to a boil, and lower the heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, bring a wide, deep skillet or pan filled with salted water or stock to a boil. Wet your hands, and form the chilled matzo mixture into balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball. Drop them into the boiling liquid as you make them.
Cover the pan, and simmer them for 30-45 minutes. The longer you simmer them, the lighter they will get. I usually boil mine for around 35 minutes for more al dente matzo balls.
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Mix The Matzo Ball Dough
First, youll mix together all of the dry ingredients: the matzo meal, baking powder , dill, parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, schmaltz and chicken broth. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together just until combined do not over-mix.
Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes or until ready to use. You can form the balls any time after 30 minutes and refrigerate for up to two days.
Also Check: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
How Do You Make Matzo Ball Soup
Start by making the matzo balls by stirring together eggs, oil or chicken fat, seltzer water, seasonings, baking powder and matzo meal. Chill the mixture for 1-2 hours so that it becomes firm enough to scoop into round balls. To make the soup, cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a large pot. Stir in cooked chicken and seasonings, then pour in chicken broth. Add the matzo balls and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the matzo balls are cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, then serve and enjoy.
Grandma Kayes Matzo Ball Soup
Celebrate Passover with a delicious hot bowl of matzo ball soup packed with nutritious vegetables. Our friend and former board member Jillena Hernández created a vegetarian matzo ball soup recipe, blending traditional elements with her own unique touches. Serve it as a side dish with a salad or sandwich or enjoy it as a main meal.
Yield: Serves 5 as a main dish
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Make The Schmaltz And The Broth
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
- Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in an ovenproof 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast, flipping once, until the fat from the wings has rendered and the wings are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Pour the schmaltz into a small bowl to cool you should have about 2 Tbs.
- Cover the wings with 3 inches of cool water . Bring to a simmer over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to low, and cook uncovered, for at least 4 and up to 6 hours. The ideal temperature for cooking the broth is 185°F, which means the water is very hot and giving off steam, but not bubbling.
- Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 1 tsp. salt, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook the same wayhot but not bubblingfor 1 to 1-1/2 hours more.
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, and then strain it again through a damp, clean, fabric-softener-free cloth or heavy-duty paper towels into another bowl. You should have about 8 cups of broth if you have less, add water to make 8 cups.
- Skim any fat that rises to the top of the broth, transfer it to the bowl of schmaltz, and refrigerate until solidified, about 20 minutes.
How To Store And Freeze Matzo Balls
- Matzo balls can be stored cooked or uncooked in the refrigerator in an airtight container. For cooked matzo balls, they will keep in the fridge for three to four days uncooked will keep for one to two days.
- You can also store matzo balls in the freezer for up to three months.
- Do not keep them in the soup as they can get too soggy and fall apart.
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Our History With Matzo Balls
I first learned of the matzo balls existence at around eight years old, at a Passover dinner at my cousin Jennifers house . Having this Jewish branch of our family meant that:
- My sister and I got to be majorly jealous of Jen when she got presents for both Hanukkah AND Christmas.
- Kaitlin and I went to a Jewish sleepaway camp, where we were definitely the only non-Jewish kids.
- We were introduced early on to the magical world of Jewish cuisine, from brisket and latkes to kasha varnishkes and of course, matzo balls.
My dad was also no stranger to Jewish cuisine. He grew up in the middle of the Borscht Belt of upstate New York , where my grandpa cooked in hotels and restaurants serving vacationing Jewish families.
The result? This Chinese American food blogger is not only very familiar with many of these Jewish classics, I actually crave them on a regular basis.
Along with my partner-in-crime Justin , I break out the matzo meal to make matzo ball soup whenever the mood strikes.
When Is Matzo Served
We spoke to Gloria Mezikofsky, a Taste of Home community member, who shared some background on what it means to celebrate Passover. Passover celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery under Pharaoh in the land of Egypt to the land of Israel a new beginning, she says.
According to the Torah, when the Egyptian pharaoh finally agreed to free the enslaved Jews, they had to leavefast. With not much time to prepare for their journey, Moses people couldnt afford to wait for dough to rise, and baked their bread unleavened.
Gloria adds, Matzo is symbolic of their hurried exodus and a need to leave many treasured items behind. One staple item was flour.
Today, Jews commemorate their ancestors flight to freedom by eating this same unleavened cracker-like flatbread. This is why Jews are forbidden to eat or keep chametz in the home during Passover.
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Lovers of matzo ball soup have strong opinions about it, specifically about the matzo balls themselves, which have been referred to as floaters and sinkers, among other descriptors. Sinkers are small, dense, and heavy, while floaters are lighter and fluffier but still substantial.
For our matzo ball soup, we aim for the latter: tender, light matzo balls that are sturdy enough to hold together in the soup. To get there, we combine matzo meal with eggs, water, a little fresh dill, and some onion sautéed in schmaltz and then let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour to give the matzo meal time to absorb the liquid. Then we shape the mixture into balls and poach the balls in boiling water for just the right amount of time to ensure a consistent texture from edge to center. In this case, 30 minutes did the trick.
This is the key to a great matzo ball soup.
If you were to add the matzo balls directly to the broth, they would make the broth starchy and sludgy. Its important to poach them separately to avoid a cloudy broth. And if you were to simmer them for too short or too long of a time, you would lose that consistent texture.
When the broth is ready, its finally time to introduce the matzo balls. They need just 5 minutes to heat through.
There are many different ways to make this deeply savory and deeply meaningful soup. We hope youll try our version below.
When Is Matzo Ball Soup Served
This Ashkenazi Jewish dish is traditionally served at the start of Passover with family gathered for Seder dinner but is also popular for other holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah and Yom Kippur. Of course, like its mainstream counterpart, chicken noodle soup, Matzo Ball Soup can be enjoyed any time of year, whenever you crave a warm bowl of comfort.
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Can You Freeze Matzo Balls
You can freeze matzo balls either uncooked or cooked and they will retain their flavor and texture very well.
- To freeze cooked matzo balls: Let the cooked dumplings cool completely, then blot them dry. Flash freeze them by lining on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for two hours or until solid. Transfer the dumplings to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to three months. Reheat matzo balls from frozen by gently simmering in chicken stock or broth until warmed through.
- To freeze uncooked matzo balls: Form the dough into balls then flash freeze them by lining on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freezing for two hours or until solid. Transfer the dumplings to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to three months. Add the frozen dumplings to simmering chicken stock or broth without thawing and proceed to cook.
How To Make Matzo Ball Soup
Mix eggs, seltzer, and schmaltz in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Pour the matzo mixture into the egg mixture. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Divide the chicken stock between two pots and season with salt. Heat over medium flame until the stock begins to simmer. Put the carrots, celery, and dill in one pot and cook until tender.
Dampen your hands and shape the matzo mixture into balls about 1-inch in size. Place the matzo balls in the second pot without the vegetables. Cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour.
Remove the matzo balls with a slotted spoon and place them in serving bowls. Pour the broth containing the vegetables over the matzo balls. Serve warm.
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Matzo Ball Soup Flavor Variations
My mom often adds other ingredients to her soup to make it special, here are some options to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add more veggies such as green beans, zucchini, frozen corn, parsnips or potatoes.
- Noodles: Its fairly common to add noodles to matzo ball soup. I typically see long noodles such as egg noodles or spaghetti in this dish.
- Herbs: While I typically top my soup with a little chopped parsley, other types of herbs are also nice such as dill, chives or a little fresh thyme.
Theres nothing better than a big bowl of matzo ball soup to celebrate the holidays or to brighten up a chilly day!
Do Matzo Balls Need A Nap
Most matzo ball recipes say to refrigerate the mixture before forming into balls and poaching. To find out just how essential that step is, I tried cooking some immediately after making the mixture, while others I let rest in the refrigerator for half an hour before forming and poaching them.
This is an easy one: You have to rest your matzo-ball mixture before cooking. Just look at the difference between the mixture when it’s fresh:
Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer
And now look at it after it’s been refrigerated for half an hour:
Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer
This is a simple issue of hydration. Specifically, the matzo meal needs time to absorb the liquid. It’s almost impossible to form balls when it’s still fresh, and even if you do, they won’t hold together in the water. Here’s the proof:
Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer
It’s not pretty, is it? Matzo balls need their beauty sleep.
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Options For A Heartier Matzo Ball Soup
If you want to make a heartier bowl of soup, you can add chicken meat. Just poach some chicken breasts or tenders in the chicken broth until cooked through, and then shred or cut them into bite-sized pieces before adding the meat back to the soup.
If you’re making your chicken stock from scratch, you could also poach some chicken breasts or thighs along with the bones and add them to your soup before serving.
Once Passover is over and you no longer need to observe the dietary laws of the holiday, think about adding some noodles or kreplach for a really deluxe bowl!
Jewish Grandma Approved Matzo Ball Soup
My mom has always taught me that there is nothing a steaming bowl of chicken soup cant fix, and I happen to wholeheartedly agree.
Lately my commute in the elevator at work has involved shielding myself from coughs and sneezes, sniffles seem to be more prevalent than ever, and this freezing rainy weather is not doing us any favors. Its officially cold season people, and we need to arm ourselves!
The perfect weapon? This insanely good chicken soup recipe that takes a nod from my Jewish grandmother, who adds a plump matzo ball in with hers.
Fresh with dill, hearty with big chunks of chicken, and full of good-for-you veg, this soup is part of your aresenal against any sickness that could come your way. And guess what? It couldnt be easier!
My secret weapon in this soup is a rotisserie chicken that you can pick up from nearly any grocery store. Theyre always juicy, full of flavor, and make the soup so quick to whip up.
Take your chicken and shred it into bite sized pieces. You should throw away the bones and the skin, but any liquid thats in the bottom of the container it came in should be saved to add to the stock.
Next up I made the matzo balls. This may sound like a sin, but I used the matzo mix from a box, and it was absolutely delicious. I promise my Jewish grandma, Mennie, approves!
So, make the matzo balls according to the directions. The mix will probably call for them to set for 20 or so minutes, so while they do go on and chop your veg.
Take that cold season!
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Making Your Matzo Balls Float
One last note about making the matzo balls: Dense matzo balls are “sinkers.” They stay on the bottom of the pot. Proper matzo balls should bob to the surface of the pot while they’re cooking.
Note that the matzo balls won’t be fully cooked when they first floatthey’ll still need a full 40 minutes of cooking timebut floating matzo balls are a good indication you didn’t mess up your matzo balls!