Matzah Ball Soup

Matzah Ball Soup – Serves 6

Don’t go kvetching thinking this goy has a lot of chutzpah riffing on this traditional
dish. Just know this is my version of matzah ball soup, and my children kvell over it.
As a chef, I aim to optimize flavor wherever I can — not to disrespect.

Chicken Stock Hack
This recipe makes an outstanding stock, but I am not above using good storebought
chicken stock or bone broth and skipping all the rest. Boney’s carries a good
brand of bone broth, and the Wise Ox sells some they make in-house. You will need 2
quarts for the recipe.

12 cups water
1 store-bought roasted chicken
1 pound of chicken wings, necks or backs
2 large onions unpeeled and quartered
6 celery stalks cut into one-inch pieces
4 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
1 parsnip cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large shallot quartered
1 head of garlic halved crosswise
6 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon of whole peppercorns

Soup Assembly
• 2 small carrots sliced diagonally a quarter inch thick to create ovals instead of rounds.
• 2 stalks of celery sliced diagonally a quarter inch think to create ovals instead of rounds.
• 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
• Coarsely ground fresh black pepper

Matzah Balls
• 1 box of matzah ball mix

Chicken Stock
• Remove meat from the roasted chicken and set aside for the soup. Leave the wings, as
there is not much meat on them; they will help flavor the stock.
• Roast the bones in a 400 degree oven until browned.
• Roast the vegetables in the same oven at 400 until they are begging to brown.
• Place all the ingredients in a large (at least 12-quart) stock pot and bring to a boil.
• Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 2.5 hours, skimming the surface occasionally.
• Strain through a fine mesh sieve. You should have about 8 cups.
• This can be made up to two days ahead of time, chilled then stored in the refrigerator.

Matzah Balls
• Follow the instructions on the box of Matzah ball mix. Substitute the vegetable oil for chicken fat and the water for the seltzer.

Soup Assembly
• Choose shallow soup bowls if possible. This allows the matzah balls to sit on the bottom of the bowl, which makes them easier to break apart and eat.
• Bring chicken stock to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
• Cook the carrots and celery in the stock until just tender; remove and portion them evenly into your serving bowls.
• Cut the reserved chicken into bite-size pieces.
• Warn the chicken in the broth and portion it into your serving bowls.
• Warm the matzah balls in the broth and portion them into your serving bowls.
• Ladle broth into bowls and garnish with fresh, chopped dill.

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Clyde Van Arsdall