Lemony Matzoh Ball Soup
After many years and so many versions this is my go-to for fluffy, flavorful matzoh balls with great texture. Using hot water in the mix and simmering the balls gently, you get a tender and addictive result. With my favorite Lemony Chicken Broth, the updated classic is sure to become a family tradition.
Lemony Matzoh Ball Soup
Lior Lev Sercarz
1 pound chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
1 small onion, peeled and cut into ¼’s
1 stalk celery, cleaned and cut into 1” pieces
1 medium carrot, cleaned and cut into 1” pieces
1 ½ tsp Isphahan blend
1 tsp fine sea salt
Green tops from 1 leek, cleaned and cut into 1” pieces (optional)
1 cup matzoh meal
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp Pierre Poivre blend
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup boiling water
2 eggs, beaten lightly
Lemony Chicken Broth (2 qts):
For the broth
In a large sauce pot or Dutch oven, add the chicken and 2 ½ quarts of cold water.
Bring to boil over high heat and skim off any foam or impurities that come to the surface.
Add the vegetables, spices, and salt and reduce the heat to simmer, covered, for 45 minutes (adjusting the heat as needed).
Remove from heat and strain the ingredients for a clear, golden broth.
For the matzoh balls
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil over high heat.
In a bowl, mix the matzoh meal, baking powder, fine sea salt, Pierre Poivre, and olive oil to combine.
Add the boiling water and stir with the back of a spoon to incorporate the ingredients well. While mixing the matzoh meal will cool to room temperature.
Stir in the eggs and continue mixing to combine.
With dampened hands, divide the mixture into 1 tablespoon balls. There should be 16 balls (including 1 for tasting). To keep hands slick while balling the mixture, continue dampen hands as needed.
When the water is boiling, add the matzoh balls and cover partially with a loose lid or parchment paper. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the matzoh balls are cooked and tender in the center. The center will look fluffy and moist when ready.
Note: Make sure the water is simmering. Boiling will make matzoh balls tough.
Turn the heat off when ready.
To assemble the soup
Divide the matzoh balls into 5 soup bowls and ladle the strained broth into the bowls and serve hot.
This multiplies easily if needed.
Here is the Lemony Chicken Broth recipe on it's own for daily use and freezer stock-ups, along with ways to change up the flavors.
The matzoh balls can be made ahead. When the balls are cooked, transfer them to a container and pour enough of the cooking liquid over to cover. Seal and store refrigerated. When ready, remove them from the liquid and transfer them to the broth to reheat. If you have extra broth, you can store the cooked balls in broth instead of cooking liquid to infuse them with the flavors of the broth then use that broth to reheat the balls when needed.
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