Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls Recipe
Nothing is as comforting as a bowl of this classic Jewish soup.
There is nothing as comforting as a classic bowl of chicken soup with matzah balls. It might be pure nostalgia comfort food, but it is considered the Jewish Penicillin for a reason. It not only tastes good, but it really is good for you and that means you can and should have this soup all year round.
The trick to enjoying this soup whenever you want is mastering the matzah balls. Once you get these made, they can be frozen for later use. This way, they are all ready to go and when you want them, just add them frozen to your hot, bubbling soup about a half hour before turning off the fire and presto – your matzah balls/knaidelach are sure to fluff up again!
The key to really fluffy, light and delicious matzah balls is not in the matzah – it’s in the eggs. Once I figured that out, the rest became easy. Instead of using water, you can substitute the same amount of seltzer, plain soda water. It does not affect the taste adversely in any way, yet it helps create fluffy light matzo balls that are outstanding. However, I find that aerating the eggs first works so well that the soda water is unnecessary.
I find it is best to boil up the matzah balls in plain salted water first, and only add them to the soup later on. This way they will not soak up all your precious and delicious soup when boiling and they will re-fluff as they boil up the second time around.
Chicken soup recipe provided by Gitta Bixenspanner. The soup will be delicious its first day - and better the next. Store any leftover soup with chicken and matzah balls in the refrigerator.
Did you know that according to Kabbalah many neuroses and personality imbalances are rooted in unmindful eating? There are great physical, mental and spiritual benefits to eating slowly and with intention. Get more Jewish food thoughts here.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 16 matzah balls
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup matzah meal
- 1/2 cup water
- 5-6 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, optional
- 1 small sprig of fresh dill, chopped, optional
- A small pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- Salt to taste
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and beat them with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add matzah meal, water, oil, onion powder (if using), dill, salt and pepper.
- With a spoon stir by hand so that the eggs retain some fluffiness. The mixture is sure to fall; that is fine. Place mixture in the fridge for an hour or more.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use a large pot as these matzah balls will grow and need a lot of room to expand. Add salt and wait until water is boiling.. Using wet hands, form small balls and drop them gently into the boiling liquid. Let them boil rapidly for 30 minutes. Remove gently from the pot, drain, and cool. If not adding to soup immediately, store in plastic bags in freezer until ready to eat.
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place chicken on prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and salt. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken half way through. Once cooked, pull chicken into small shreds using two forks.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook stirring occasionally, about 8-9 minutes. Add garlic and salt and cook for another minute before adding the bay leaf, water and chicken stock. Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, taste to adjust seasoning and leave to simmer until ready to serve.
- Add matzo balls and chicken pieces to soup and serve hot from the stove.