Matzah balls in chicken soup is a traditional soup eaten as a starter on the Jewish holiday of Passover and is originally of Ashkenazie Jewish (Eastern European) origin. It has become an "Israeli" staple food in many homes on this holiday.
What are Matza balls? They are dumplings made from a mixture of matzah meal, beaten eggs, water, salt and a little oil. They can be made small or large.
The exact origins of matzah balls - also called by their Yiddish name of Knaidelach - are unknown. Some believe that many years ago European Jews used the crumbs leftover from matzah baking to produce this filling addition.
So many recipes are available out there made from Matzah including desserts since during Passover Jews traditionally don't eat any bread products.
My mother made the very best Matzah balls I have ever tasted to date! She always made her own, never bought the ready mix packet. I can still smell her chicken soup cooking throughout the house.
My family always really enjoy my chicken soup with Matzah balls and of course I make it every Passover, but I also make if throughout the year.
Everyone claims they make "the best" chicken matzah ball soup. For that reason there are variations to this famous passover dinner soup.
Some add extra vegetables like celery and different herbs. This is one of the few dishes I like to keep more simple. I like the flavor of the chicken soup without too many additional spices and herbs. Plus the star of this soup is the matzah ball!
For those who don't know this, Jewish chicken soup is also known as "Jewish penicillin" as it is often cooked in families when a member has a cold. I have no proof, but it is said that Jewish chicken soup can actually be beneficial for people with mild colds and upper respiratory infections. Who knows?
What I do know this is one of the tastiest soups you'll ever make!
Here are all the ingredients you'll need:
I make this amount of soup, it feeds 6 large bowls - Adjust amounts to feed more.
6 skinless boneless chicken thighs each cut in half rinsed and dried on paper towels
2 tablespoons Osem chicken flavor soup mix or any chicken bouillon mix - *(available in the kosher section of the international isle at your local supermarket or see link below)
6 carrots sliced into medium size rounds
1 teaspoon black ground pepper
Parsley chopped - about ½ cup (optional)
A little salt if needed
For Matzah Balls: Makes about 10 balls
½ cup of Matzah or Matzo meal - *(available in the kosher section of the international isle at your local supermarket or see link below) It is also available in Gluten Free.
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 large eggs
2 large tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
In a large pot fill water to 3/4 of way up, it reduces during cooking. Bring to a boil, add chicken bouillon mix and stir. Add chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 ½ - 2 hours. Add sliced carrots about an hour before the end of your cooking time.
In the meanwhile in a medium size bowl, put matzah meal, oil, eggs, salt ad water and mix well with a fork. Put mix covered with Saran Wrap in the refrigerator to firm up a little for about 20 minutes.
About a half an hour before serving, using a cookie scoop (my favorite find for everything ball shaped) or your wet hands like my mother did, form a ball to your desired size. Some like large matzah balls some small ones. Bring soup up to a bubbling level.
Drop balls in one at a time
Turn heat down to simmer and cover for about half an hour. Taste soup to adjust salt, you may need a little more. We like our foods well salted.
If not ready to serve just keep soup on warm until you are ready to.
Have a great passover or just enjoy anytime of the year! A healthy light soup for everyday deliciousness!