Friday, February 4, 2011

Marlo's mother-in-law's MatzoBall Soup...Yum!

I learned this recipe from my Jewish mother-in-law fifteen years ago and I have not dared to stray and make any modifications. I think this was a secret test she gave me to see if an Italian girl from the West side of Chicago could possibly set her pasta cookin' recipe's aside and make her only son some Jewish soul food. I was recently told that I passed! Phew! 
This soup is almost homemade. If you are a chef, this recipe is not for you! 
She taught me to use Manischewitz Matzo Meal for the yummy, fluffy matzo balls and I've got to tell you, I've tried making them from scratch and they are just not the same. This could absolutely be because I grew up making pasta and I just do not have that special touch. But hey, this is a woman who knows her matzo ball soup and can cook her butt off with zero short cuts otherwise. So I'm not messing with it! It's easy, it's fast and it's totally delicious! 

Matzo Ball Soup

Serves 8

4 tablespoons olive or corn oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 box (two packages) Manischewitz Matzo Meal
1 whole chicken (use a fryer not a roasting chicken)
1 bag of small onions
4-5 carrots (my family likes a lot)
salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs and oil. Stir in matzo meal and chill in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Add the chicken to a large pot of COLD water (starting with cold water makes a clearer broth). Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. *You will see a white film come to the surface and will need to skim this off. This is an important step! This is the fat coming to the top and if you do not skim it well you'll end up with an oily soup. This takes a little patience and you will  end up taking out quite a bit of water with it. This is why you need to cover your chicken by a couple of inches of extra water until you've gotten used to skimming chicken broth!

While you are waiting for your chicken to boil, peel your carrots and cut them into about three pieces. Next, peel your onions and leave them whole. I remember being surprised by this but I can tell you after all these years, I cannot eat matzo ball soup any other way! If this really makes you crazy, chop one large onion instead.This is a rustic soup and leaving the carrots and onions larger just adds to the charm.

After you have skimmed off the fat, add your carrots and onions. Add salt and pepper. Take out your chilled matzo meal mixture and wet your hands. Scoop up a walnut size bit of matzo and gently roll it in your palms like a piece of Play-Doh. Drop it into your hot water. Repeat. You will need to wet your hands slightly after every yummy ball.

Cover, turn your heat on low and go read the paper!

After about an hour and a half take out your poached chicken and transfer to a bowl to cool. After your chicken cools enough to handle, cut or pull away just the white meat. I know, it's a bit wasteful not to use any of the other meat. It's up to you. Got a dog or cat? That's usually where my dark meat goes! You can leave it in big pieces or chop it up ( I like bigger pieces).

Check your salt and pepper and enjoy!

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