This is the simplest chicken soup we have come across and it is still full of amazing flavour. It really celebrates the chicken, so choose your chicken well! Made with lots of chicken bones, it is a clear, rich soup which jellies when cold. Best served piping hot with matzo balls or egg noodles.
We were lucky enough to come across Lena from the Balaclava Deli in Melbourne, Australia when it was suggested to us that she makes the best meat blintzes in the world. (Yes, we did try them and they are exceptional and the recipe is now in The Feast Goes On.)
This is the wonderful soup that Lena sells at the Balaclava Deli. Matzo balls are matzo meal dumplings eaten in chicken soup, traditionally served at Pesach (Passover) although they are also enjoyed all year round. This is Lena’s recipe which took her about four years to perfect. She needed one which worked perfectly each and every time and produced soft, melt-in-your-mouth matzo balls – when they have orders for 7000 matzo balls at Pesach, they don’t want to make any mistakes.
Matzo Meal can be found in the kosher aisle at supermarkets and at specialty food stores.
Simple Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls
- 2 Kg chicken frames (carcasses)
- 1 chicken cut into pieces
- 2 carrots peeled and halved
- 1 onion unpeeled and quartered
- 3 stems dill
- 2 teaspoons salt plus to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 small eggs separated (or 4 XL eggs)
- 190 grams coarse matzo meal 1 1/2 heaped cups
- 1/3 cup oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Start this recipe the day before serving.
- Wash the chicken and the bones under cold running water. Put them in a stockpot along with the other ingredients. Pour in enough cold water to just cover, around 3 - 4 litres (12 - 1 6 cups). Bring to the boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface, partially cover and continue to cook at a light boil for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
- Allow to cool slightly for 30 minutes before removing the bones and straining the soup, discarding everything except the carrot.Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.
- Makes 3 - 4 litres (12 - 16 cups).
- In an electric mixer, whisk the whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly and mix with the matzo meal, oil, water, salt and pepper. Add this mixture spoon by spoon into the whites, whisking after each addition. Taste and season generously. The mixture should be too sloppy at this stage to form balls. Set aside for 20 minutes, giving it a light fold through after 10 minutes. The mixture should be just solid enough to form balls.
- Bring a stockpot or very large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil. With wet hands, and without pressing too firmly, lightly roll the matzo meal mixture into smooth walnut-sized balls and drop into the boiling water. After the last ball has been dropped in, cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the balls to cool in the water.
- Allow the matzo balls to cool in the cooking water in the saucepan. Then store in the fridge in the cooking water until ready to serve. When ready to serve, remove with a slotted spoon and reheat in the chicken soup.
- Note: This makes 15-20 or so matzo balls and is a half batch of the original recipe which appears in The Feast Goes On.