When there’s a chill in the air (yes, even in Arizona!), your likelihood of coming down with an illness that will leave you bedridden goes up. This probably explains why my weekend was overwhelmed with vitamins, Nyquil and overdosing on orange juice.
Growing up in New Jersey, my mom would always make a big batch of Matzo Ball Soup or pick up some from the corner deli whenever one of us would come down with a cold or the dreaded flu. Just one bowl of this stuff makes me feel like a brand new person. I don’t know what is about this magical healing soup, but I swear you’ll get over your sickness faster if you nourish your body with this stuff.
Since I had been lying in bed since Thursday, I decided to make an appearance at the farmer’s market on Sunday to pick up some supplies to make my own vegetarian version of Matzo Ball Soup.
I decided to make it completely from scratch – but you can make this recipe a bit easier by just picking up a box of Manischewitz Matzo Ball Soup and have it ready in no time. However, there’s something about going that extra mile of making it from scratch that makes this soup so much more satisfying. You can customize the soup to your liking by adding/omitting veggies and herbs. If you have any meat eaters in the house, the traditional way to make this soup is with chicken broth and it will knock their socks off!
Move over Campbell’s, this recipe will have anybody with the sniffles and scratchy throat feel better on no time.
For matzo balls
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1/2 cup seltzer
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 cup peeled, chopped parsnips
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups water or homemade/store-bought, low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Make the matzo balls: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add matzo meal and seltzer; mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Make the soup: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, parsnips, ginger, and garlic; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add water or broth, bay leaves, and thyme; reduce heat and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Do not let liquid come to a boil. Remove from heat; strain and discard solids – I like to keep a couple of carrot pieces! Add dill and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- After the solids are discarded, bring the broth to a boil.
- Moisten hands with water and, using your hands, form matzo batter into about 1 1/2-inch balls. At this point, matzo balls can be transferred to freezer until frozen and then transferred to airtight containers and kept frozen for up to 1 month. Frozen matzo balls can be added directly to boiling broth.
- Place matzo balls in boiling broth; cover and cook until light and fluffy, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.