Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball
If this were a normal Passover, I would be in Chicago right now with 15 lbs. of brisket in the oven, a huge pot of chicken soup on the stovetop, plus some 100 matzo balls in production, prepping for a fabulous multi-course meal for my family and friends as I have done for the past two decades.
Since, unfortunately, this is not a normal Passover. I am in Las Vegas, not Chicago. And I’m not cooking a multi-course meal for thirty-five, I’m cooking for one. Just a nice bowl of my chicken soup with a big comforting matzo ball.
Happily, in spite of the global pandemic, we’ll still be holding our Seder and holding tight to tradition. We will all Zoom in on the internet at sundown on Wednesday to retell the Passover story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom with signs and wonders. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom and from sadness to joy. This year is no different in that respect.
Big Matzo Ball Recipe and Matzo Ball Secrets
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 t. fresh parsley, minced
1 t. fresh dill, minced
1 t. fresh cilantro, minced
1 packet matzo ball mix (2 1/2 oz.)
In a small bowl, whisk eggs with olive oil. Stir in the herbs.
Add one packet matzo ball mix. Mix with a fork until completely incorporated.
Place matzo ball mixture in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
In the meantime bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Wet hands and roll chilled matzo ball mixture into six balls.
Drop balls into boiling water. Cover. Lower the heat to medium-low (not simmer).
Cook for 40 minutes, do not lift lid while cooking!
Remove balls from water with a slotted spoon.
Serve cooked matzo balls in chicken soup.
The Matzoh Ball Secrets
Use good tasting extra virgin olive oil, not a bland vegetable oil.
Add fresh herbs for color and bright springtime flavor.
Don’t over work the egg mixture.
Use a large pot, to give the matzo balls plenty of room to expand.
Keep the heat at medium-low, not a simmer, to create agitation to puff up the balls.
Use a tight-fitting lid, and do not remove it until the 40 minutes have passed. This creates more steam and pressure in the pot, helping those balls to become aerated.
If making more than one batch, cook the batches separately.
And don’t cook the matzo balls in your chicken soup, that will cloud your pristine soup. My best recipe for chicken soup can be found here.
Wishing you a joyful, safe and healthy Passover from Las Vegas!