Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Matzo Ball Soup

I decided to make matzo ball soup for two reasons. Well, three if you count "it's delicious" as a reason. First reason is I've been eating it for lunch from Goddess at least once a week for the past month, and the second is because I wanted something nice and light for dinner after a wonderful weekend of friends visiting (*cough* cupcake binge *cough*).

I had never bought or cooked with matzo meal before. Matzo meal is ground up matza. And matza is made of flour and water. So there you have it.

This recipe is brought to you by Smitten Kitchen, with a couple very minor changes by me.

Matzo Balls
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons seltzer

2 quarts prepared chicken stock
1 carrot, thinly sliced

Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a medium sized pot.

Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls.

Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes.

About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring prepared chicken stock to a simmer with the sliced carrot in it. Ladle some soup and a couple matzo balls into each bowl and serve.

My minor changes were: canola oil instead of vegetable oil or reserved chicken fat. The original recipe called for the option of chicken stock or seltzer in the matzo mixture, but I really liked the seltzer. The original also calls for fresh dill as a garnish. The whole thing took a little over an hour to make, but most of that time was spent waiting - for the matzo mixture to chill, and then for it to cook. So it's really not labor intensive. Also, I used half homemade chicken stock and half store-bought. Good stock is important since it's a very simple soup.

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