Matzah ball soup - 'Jewish penicillin' is a classic comfort dish
Mary Bilyeu | Contributor
So, when I make matzah ball soup — that classic "Jewish penicillin" — I add the accoutrements that generally come with chicken soup: peas, carrots, chicken. Craig, however, firmly believes that matzah ball soup consists of two ingredients: matzah balls and broth. Period. His sister Suzanne once chimed in on this topic, as well, siding with her brother and the classic version.
Growing up in New York City, I definitely ate my fair share of matzah ball soup, and it always came as a bowl of broth with either a large matzah ball or several smaller ones. But ....
Especially when I'm not feeling well — and not only am I recovering from bronchitis, but virtually everyone else I know has a cold or the flu, as well — I think the extra nutrients from the vegetables are beneficial. They enhance the soup's flavor, in addition to offering greater sustenance.
So regardless of whether you want all the goodies in your bowl of soup or whether you're a purist who just wants the traditional version, here's a simple recipe that will comfort you on a cold day and help you to resist the nasty illnesses that are floating around.
Matzah Ball Soup
1 32-ounce container chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cups water
3/4 cup white wine
juice of half lemon
2 large garlic cloves
2 generous tablespoons kosher salt
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; cover, turn heat down to "low," and cook for 1 hour. Remove chicken and reserve for another use. Strain broth and place into a medium saucepan. Keep at a simmer.
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons broth
1/2 cup matzah meal
pinch of kosher salt
Beat together eggs, oil, and broth; stir in matzah meal and salt, then cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Divide the matzah meal mixture into 4 portions; form each into a ball, then carefully place them into the broth. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then serve hot.
Add chicken, carrots, peas, or other additions as desired.
Makes 4 servings.
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