. Grandma Fay's Matzoh Ball Soup Seriously Soupy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grandma Fay's Matzoh Ball Soup

This weeks soupy experience was full of firsts for me. I made my first broth (finally)! I made my first matzo ball soup (never thought I would)! And I cut up a chicken (more on that horrifying tale later). Although the soup is based on a family recipe from Lonnie's grandmother and not necessarily my own, but it gave me a much-needed boast to actually make my own broth, which along with the backing of a trusted and much-loved recipe to fall back on made this process not as difficult as I thought it would be. I learned that it is possible, and actually not hard at all to create your own broth and you can even vary up your broth by adding matzoh balls, noodles, etc to create your own soupy variations. The only thing to consider with making broth is the additional prep and cooking time, but in the end it is well worth it, especially the difference of what a genuine and traditional homemade soupy really tastes like. Here's how it went when I made Grandma Fay's Matzoh Ball Soup:

Grandma Fay's Matzoh Ball Soup
Part One—Chicken Stock
(Printable Recipe)
  • 1 whole chicken cut into 1/4's (I used a small organic chicken)
  • 1 large pot almost completely filled (75%) with water
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut up
  • 2 small parsnips or 1 large parsnip, cut up
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced into small cubes
  • 1 small bunch of dill tied tied together with white thread
  • 1 small bunch of parsley tied together with white thread
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons of salt, tasting throughout the simmering process, adding more if needed
    Fill up a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and cover. While that is cooking cut up, tie the thread around the dill and parsley, and the clean the vegetables. When the water/chicken starts to boil, clean any bubbles or dirt that acclimates to the surface. Add all of the vegetables and the salt to the pot. Set to a very low flame and allow the water to simmer slowly for two hours. Periodically check the pot and taste the concoction, adding salt if needed. After three hours let the vegetables sit in the pot until they cool. Discard all vegetables except carrots. Depending on when you are making the matzo meal you may need to keep your broth in the fridge or remove the vegetables and place the pot  immediately back on the heat as the matzo balls are added.

    Note: This is not just a matzoh ball soup recipe, but a great chicken stock recipe that can be used for any soup base.  I modified it slightly from Grandma Fay's recipe by not throwing away the vegetables and chicken (they were also used in the soup). I also did not add enough water (I added half a pot, since the recipe did not indicate how much to put it), but I found out that the water was quickly absorbed by the vegetables, chicken, and eventually matzoh due to the long simmering process. So, for the recipe I think a whole pot of water will be sufficient. Additionally, the broth cooked for four-five hours, so allot enough time when making your broth.
    Part Two—Matzoh Ball Mix

    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1/2 cup matzoh meal
    • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
    • 2 tablespoons of cold seltzer
    Makes approximately six medium-sized matzo balls
    In a medium-sized bowl mix eggs and oil with a fork, but do not beat the mixture. Add the matzoh meal, salt, seltzer, and mix together.  Cover with aluminium foil and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Start your pot of broth again and bring it to a slight boil. After 20 minutes remove the matzoh from the fridge and wet hands. Make the balls and place them in the boiling pot.  Lower the flame, cover, and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the matzoh balls and broth with a spoon, place into a soup bowl, and enjoy!

    P.S. Timing is everything when you are making a matzoh ball soup, more so because the broth requires a lot of time to cook and retain the flavors from the vegetables and the chicken. For example: I started the broth at 1pm and it finished around 5pm. I then refrigerated the broth and started the matzo at around 7pm and finally ate at 8:30 pm! A full-day's commitment but well worth it, especially since I could really taste the difference in what a homemade broth was and I am finally no longer scared to make my own, and even excited to to this again (or my own verison of it next week).

    P.P.S. As I indicated in the intro I gutted a chicken, ok not one that I killed or even got from a butcher. I purchased a medium-sized whole chicken that you would buy at any store, but I guess in cooking them I usually placed it in the oven and that was that. I never had to cut it and remove the skin, and not to mention ever notice that the neck and several hairs were still intact. Maybe not the biggest of deals, but I was a vegetarian for many years and still basically eat fish or don't get down and dirty with meat prep. So, pulling apart the chicken complete with its fat, neck and feathers was simply horrifying...oh, what I won't do for this blog?

    Seriously Soupy Serena

    How do you make your matzoh ball soup?


    1. Looks delish!!! I hate cutting raw whole chickens! That's the stuff of nightmares!!! Congrats to you, you ex veggie!

    2. Thanks CF! It was super easy and so yummy! I loved making own broth too, except for the chicken part, but I guess I better get used it if I really want to get soupy!