Among Matzoh Ball Soup lovers there are two distinct camps: those that like their Matzoh Balls to float and those who prefer what we call "sinkers". There are countless tips on making floating Matzoh Balls, the most common being to use seltzer in the preparation. My mom says she gets her balls to float by letting the egg and matzoh meal sit in the refrigerator over night. (I suspect that they may actually "rise" a bit and therefore not be strictly Kosher). My own experience is that making smaller balls and cooking them just for a few minutes instead of the 20 minutes suggested on most boxes of matzoh meal is also helpful, as is serving them right away - as soon as they are done.
But, the best trick of pleasing just about everyone is shown in the photo above. Fill the bowl up so that half the matzoh ball is above water level. This lets those who want to see the ball as floating to do so, but lets the "sinker" camp feel they, too, have been accommodated!
I've made the broth for the soup from scratch. When pressed for time I sometimes start with chicken stock and then doctor it by adding dill, carrots and a bit of onion.
- 1 Turnip
- 5-6 Carrots
- 2 stalks of Celery
- 1 Onion
- 1 bunch dill (5-6 sprigs)
- 1 cut up chicken
- 1 C Matzoh Meal
- 3 Eggs
- A splash of Seltzer
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 1 t Salt
- Fresh Parsley
Clean the veggies, peeling the carrots and turnip.
Cut the veggies into 1-2 inch pieces.
Add the veggies to a soup pot.
Peel and quarter an onion - I like vidalias for their sweetness.
Add the onion to the pot.
Clean 3-6 sprigs of dill.
Add the dill to the pot.
Fill the pot with water.
Add the chopped up chicken to the pot.
Bring the soup to a boil. then reduce to simmer for an hour. Test for flavor, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Pour the soup from into another bowl through a sieve.
Remove the chicken and pull the meat from the bone. Discard the bones.
Roughly chop the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces.
Add the chicken back to the soup.
If you have time, chill the soup. The fat will rise to the top. Scrape it off and put it into a small bowl. You can use this chicken fat (called schmaltz in Yiddish) for the chopped egg and onion
Now, we'll make the batter for the matzoh balls. Put three eggs in a bowl.
Add 1 T vegetable oil.
Add 1/2 C Water.
Whisk the mixture.
Add 1 C Matzoh Meal. Blend it into the egg.
Add 1 T seltzer and blend. I don't think this does anything, but it is tradition. Cover the mix and let it stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Take a scoop of the mix into your hands and roll it into a ball the size of a golf ball. They will expand as you cook, so don't make softball sized balls or you may end up with one bowling ball sized matzoh ball for the whole company.
In one pot, reheat the soup. In another, bring water to a boil. (we don't cook the balls in the broth because they aborb liiquid like a sponge!) Carefully, place the balls into salted boiling water. Don't use the soup as the balls will absorb the liquid and you may not have enough..
Here the balls are cooking in the just boiling water. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until one of them cut in half is cooked through.
To each bowl add some chicken from the broth, the broth, and a matzoh ball or two. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
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