- YIELDS | 8-10 BALLS
- PREP TIME | 45 MINS
- COOK TIME | 35-40 MINS
Charlotte was one of the best mothers-in-law a young woman could ever know. She was loving, kind, beyond smart, and highly opinionated. She was the consummate Jewish-mamma and cook. Grandma Charlotte produced scrumptious kugel, cherry cake, and tzimmes, a stew made with prunes and root vegetables, but it is her matzo ball soup that made her a legend in these parts. These matzo balls float like clouds and melt in your mouth.
I hope you enjoy this quintessential holiday soup as much as my family and I have over the years.
Stock (Yields Approx 10-12 cups)
- 1 whole chicken or cut up chicken pieces with skin on
- 6-7 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half
- 2 large yellow onions, cut in half, unpeeled
- 1 small bunch parsley, washed and coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish, optional
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 1/4 cup matzo meal
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons melted schmaltz (chicken fat) or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon or more minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- To a very large pot, add the chicken and vegetables and enough filtered water to cover the chicken and vegetables, about 12 cups. Be sure there is enough water to cover everything but not so much that it will make a watery stock. Simmer for 2-3 hours, the longer the better if you have time.
- When the stock is finished let it cool and pour it into a colander over another large pot or bowl to catch the stock. Discard the chicken and vegetables.
- Put the stock in the fridge overnight, or up to 3 days.
- When ready to use, take the stock out of the fridge and carefully pull off the hard layer of fat and any remaining chunks of fat and discard. Warm the stock to a simmer/slight boil.
- While the stock heats up, make the matzo balls.
- Put a medium to large glass bowl in the fridge or freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- While the bowl chills, gently mix together all the other ingredients, accept for the egg whites.
- In the chilled bowl, using an electric beater on high, whip the egg whites into stiff peeks and then gently fold the egg whites into the matzo mixture. Do not overmix. This process is what produces the fluffy texture.
- Once the stock is simmering, using your hands, gently roll the matzo mixture into equal, golf-sized balls (no larger as they expand a great deal).
- Drop the balls into the simmering stock using a spoon. Be sure not to crowd the matzo balls, and gently move them around in the stock until they are finished, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
- Taste the stock and add additional salt if needed. Pour the stock into individual bowls and add one matzo ball to each bowl. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve.
- You can make the stock up to 3 days in advance or used store-bought chicken stock.
- Leaving the skin on the onions will give the stock a richer color.
- Overmixing the ingredients will give you hard matzo balls instead of fluffy yummy matzo balls.
- Don’t make them too big otherwise you’ll have giant matzo balls on your hands.
- Matzo ball making is a fun project for little hands. Let your children help make the matzo balls and then watch as you add them to the stock. They will be delighted by how the matzo balls grow in size.
- Double the stock and freeze half in individual containers to use later. There is nothing better than homemade stock.