Phillip hasn't been feeling well the past couple of days. My mom commented on his Facebook status telling him I should make him Matzo Ball soup (aka the Jewish Penicillin). I realized I had never actually made it before which kind of surprised me. Phillip really liked the idea, so I decided it would be a good time to try it. I looked up some recipes online and then decided I would just ask my Mom how she typically makes it. Her email response was as follows:
- chicken pieces (any that are on sale...Grandma insists that Kosher chickens make the best soup, but I have never had that as an option)
- celery (with leafy part)
- lots 'o salt
Bring to boil and let simmer for ~an hour. Take out the celery and onion...leave the carrot.
Pull chicken meat off bones. I use the Manischewitz matzo ball mix. Do NOT make the matzo balls in the soup. Make them in a separate pot of water...then add to soup. And, I use the really, really skinny egg noodles.
The email even included two pictures she found online of the Manischewitz matzo ball mix she uses and the type of egg noodles. Seemed easy enough. I only made a few modifications because I wanted it to taste just like home, but I also wanted it to be vegetarian. We obviously omitted the chicken and instead of using water I subbed vegetable stock to make up for the flavor I may have been losing for leaving out the chicken.
I added three 32oz boxes of veggie stock, two stalks of celery roughly chopped, an onion quartered, and two carrots thinly sliced into my big stock pot. I brought to a boil, added some salt and pepper, then lowered the temp to low and simmered for an hour. I decided to follow my Mom's recommendation and use the help from the store on the matzo balls. I used the same box mix she uses rather than make them from scratch, which quite honestly, they taste so good out of the box I didn't care. You have to refrigerate the matzo ball mix for 20 minutes before you form the balls. While the mix was in the fridge, I scooped out the onion and celery from the stock with a slotted spoon.
Next, I divided the matzo ball mix into twelve 1" diameter balls. They looked so small but my mom ensured me they would puff up. I followed her instructions and cooked them in a separate pot of water. After you drop the matzo balls into the boiling water, you cover, reduce heat, and simmer for twenty minutes. Last thing to do was drop the egg noodles into the soup, let them boil for about six minutes and dinner was ready. It was just like the soup my Mom always makes. Nothing beats a recipe from your childhood. I honestly did not miss the chicken at all and of course, Phillip felt instantly better from my magical Matzo Ball soup.