If you are looking for a super simple, basic soup that tastes like it has been slow cooking on grandma’s stovetop for hours, then look no further. I am talking about Matzo Ball Soup. This simple bowl of broth and balls is the perfect soup to warm your soul as days become shorter and nights become crisper. Matzo ball soup is easy to prepare and the kids absolutely love it. Don’t be fooled by this soup’s basic appearance. The broth tastes like heaven and those savory dumplings pack a punch. Nobody leaves hungry. The best part about this soup, you don’t have to think to make it. You simply need patience, few ingredients, many of which you probably already have on hand, and a box of matzo ball mix. In 2 hours, you will have warm, full bellies, and very happy campers as this soup is sure to leave everyone totally satisfied.
Whole fryer chicken, cut in pieces (You don’t have to use a whole chicken. However, I prefer it because there is more fat to skim for the matzo ball prep.)
Bag of carrots
3 stalks celery
15-20 saffron threads
8-10 whole peppercorns
1 Bay leaf
1 box Matzo Ball Mix
4 Tbsp vegetable oil or chicken fat
Salt to taste
Step 1: Cut up the whole fryer chicken and toss into a soup pot along with all other ingredients and cover completely with water. Bring water to a steady boil for about an hour. Skim the junk that floats to the top and discard.
Step 2: (Optional) You can skip this step and use vegetable oil for your matzo balls per the instructions on the back of the box but this secret step elevates the flavor. Render chicken fat from the top of the soup stock. I put my pot on a tilt by lifting one corner and placing the pot lid underneath. The fat will shift to one side and is easier to gather and set aside. You will need a mesh spoon and a jar to store the fat until later. Skim the top of the stock, try and avoid any particles, gathering just the fat. It looks like oil on the surface.
Step 3: Remove all the contents from within the pot and set aside. I discard everything but the chicken and save for another use. Bring the pot to a boil again and reduce the broth for another 30 minutes. This step will really concentrate the flavor.
Step 4: While the broth is reducing, crack 4 eggs into a bowl, add 4 Tbsp of rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil and mix together. Once the eggs and fat are combined add to matzo mix. Mix with a fork and once everything is combined, put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Add salt to taste to your broth.
Step 6: Remove chilled matzo mix from the refrigerator and roll into small balls. About 1 inch in diameter. Tip: Wet your fingers so the mix doesn’t stick.
Step 7: Bring broth to a boil one more time and add all matzo balls to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer. Cover pot and steam matzo balls for 15 -20 minutes.
Step 8: Ladle broth and balls in to your favorite bowl and enjoy.
This soup is the wonderful at all times of the year, but most appropriately enjoyed during the colder months. Our favorite months. The hygge season. Things don’t have to be complicated to be good. In fact, for me, the simpler the better. Soup is healing. It feeds a crowd and it only makes you feel cozy on a chilly day. Enjoy!