I rarely get sick. Maybe a sniffle or a sore throat once a year. Like Ruth, however, I suffer from some pretty debilitating migraines, although even those have severely dropped off since they first started in high school. So when I recently got 2 migraines less than 1 day apart I was basically useless for the entire weekend. When I finally got up the energy to eat late Monday afternoon all I wanted was Matzo ball soup, but, for all the glories of my neighborhood, the only place with Matzo soup is nearly a mile walk away (not good for recovery) and doesn’t deliver. This led to two important decisions: (1) I was going to have to make my own Matzo, and (2) one day I am going to open up a restaurant that specializes in delivering food for sick folks.
You know idea 2 is the best idea ever! Just imagine: you’re sick, your nose is running, your head is pounding. Just 7 quick taps of the phone later and you can choose from a tasty selection of chicken soups, plain rice for upset tummies, various teas, or even healthy smoothies for those tooth aches or post-wisdom teeth surgeries. We could even deliver small bottles of NyQuil and throat lozenges with orders and call ourselves the Kitchen Prescription. You know you’d order from there!
Ok, so back to my matzo ball soup. This is a pretty simple recipe, no where near as involved as the traditional Matzo ball soup served during Passover. For one, I was sick and was not going to make my stock from scratch. By combining quality chicken and veggie broths and adding extra garlic, herbs, and veggies you can kick up a boxed broth with little effort. Also, because I was trying to get my strength back up after several days of little to no eating, I added a lot more veggies to this broth than the you might see on a traditional Jewish table. The matzo balls are handmade, but don’t let that stop you, as nothing can be easier than whipping up a small batch of matzo balls. But if you want more traditional matzo balls, you’ll want to get your hands on some rendered chicken fat to use in the mix instead of the olive oil.
Matzo Ball Soup
For the Matzo Balls
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water
¾ tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup Matzo meal
For the soup
32 oz chicken broth
32 oz vegtable broth
3 cloves of garlic
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
4 celery stalks
4 large carrots
generous handful of baby spinach leaves
half a dozen large button or baby bella mushrooms
one batch of Matzo balls
1) Begin by preparing your matzo ball dough. Beat the eggs, salt, olive oil, and parsley together. Stir in the matzo, then add the chicken broth a tablespoon at a time. Stir until just combine, cover loosely, and place in the fridge.
2) Pour box of chicken broth and box of vegetable broth into a large soup or stock pot over low flame. Smash 3 cloves of garlic and add directly to the broth. Roughly dice carrots and celery into about ¼ inch pieces and add to broth. Grab a large handful of baby spinach and roughly chop into smaller pieces before adding to the broth as well. Finish up with about 6 large button or baby bella mushrooms chopped medium fine.
3) Turn up heat under the soup pot to medium high and bring to a boil.
4) While soup begins to boil, remove matzo dough from fridge and form into approximately 10 walnut-sized balls.
5) When soup reaches boiling carefully drop pre-made matzo balls into the broth and then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for about 30 mintues, tasting halfway through to add salt and pepper.