Nana’s Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls

FIRST PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2009

This is an “historical” recipe, taught to me by my mother-in-law and now I’m teaching it to my children and grandchildren.  It’s already become a tradition with my granddaughter’s to help me make the matzoh balls…they love it!

The Soup Ingredients:

  • soup390x2891 Large stewing or roasting chicken, preferably organic or kosher
  • 4 or more stalks celery, sliced into 2 inch chunks
  • 4 to 6 large carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 TBL fresh dill or more (my family loves the dill…I will float some sprigs before serving)
  • 2 TBL chopped parsley
  • 1 large parsnip, cut into chunks (optional)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cube of Knorr Chicken Bouillon, optional

Directions:

1.  Put 4 quarts of water in a soup pot and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken.   Reduce the heat to low, skimming off the foam that accumulates at the top of the soup, and cook for 1 hour, uncovered.
2.  After one hour, add the celery, carrots, onion, parsnip and some dill and parsley.  Continue cooking slowly, uncovered for another hour.  Add more water, if necessary, and I usually add some bouillon to enhance the flavor.  Continue cooking for another 1/2 hour or so….you really can’t overcook it.
3.  Set a strainer over a large bowl and strain the soup and discard the solids.   Save the carrots and cut into smaller pieces to serve in the soup.  I also save the chicken for chicken salad.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the soup, covered, overnight.
4.  The next day, skim off the layer of solid fat that has formd on the soup’s surface. Bring the soup to a boil, or freeze it for another day. Before serving, after bringing the soup to a boil, add matzoh balls, carrot slices (if desired) and fresh dill. Cook until heated thoroughly.

The Matzoh Ball (Makes 12)

These are absolutely the best, the lightest and the most delicious matzoh balls.  They are soooo easy, which is why my friend calls them “Princess Balls”.  (You’ll understand when you see the main ingredient for the recipe below!)

Ingredients:

1 packet of Matzo Ball Mix (yes, I use a mix and  I love Manischewitz Matzoh Ball Mix…1 packet of the two that are in the box)

I follow the directions on the box…except for the following alterations:

1.   I add a little more chicken stock or water than they recommend…it makes them lighter…maybe an extra tablespoon or two.
2.   Refrigerate as directed on package.  Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Take the matzoh mix out of the refrigerator and after dipping your hands into a bowl of cold water, gently form the balls.  I make sure my hands are wet for every ball I form.  Add salt to the water and drop in balls.  Simmer slowly, covered until balls are firm about 20 mintues.  Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and add to the soup before serving.

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