Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup with Matzo Balls


I posted this recipe a year, or so back. I shot the pictures, at night, with flash. They were terrible. But, I posted it anyway, because I just love this soup.
So, I have decided to put it up again, with fresh photos & with some more clarity in the instructions.
I am not Jewish & don't have a Jewish grandma teaching me the right way to make matzo balls. I had an Italian grandma, who taught me how to make meatballs. But, I just love matzo ball soup & so do my kids! It's the ultimate comfort food & so good for you. Whenever I am sick, this is always what hits the spot.
This recipe is long. But, only because it includes all the components together. It can easily be adjusted, or built on, however you choose. You can make the stock ahead of time, or use store bought stock {not nearly as good, but okay}. You can use leftover chicken, or rotisserie chicken. You can use leftover bones & unused meat from a roasted chicken dinner to make the stock, instead of using raw chicken. You can use different veggies...potatoes, spinach, chard, parsnips, etc.
But, this is how I make chicken noodle soup with matzo balls.

So, my stock is already made. For instructions, see the recipe below.
To make the matzo balls, begin by separating 5 large eggs.

Add the egg yolks to a mixing bowl. To them, add a 1/2 cup chicken stock, a 1/4 cup rendered chicken fat, or canola oil, a 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley & a teaspoon of kosher salt. Whisk the mixture to combine.

Add in 1 cup of matzo meal,

and combine. In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, with a pinch of salt until stiff.

Fold the egg whites into the matzo mixture & chill for at least 15 minutes. Bring a pot of chicken stock, or water to a gentle simmer. Shape the matzo balls using a small ice cream scoop, or two spoons {they should be approximately the size of golf balls} & drop them into the simmering stock. Keep the heat low enough that it's gently simmering, or they will break apart. Cover the pot & cook for 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the pot & transfer to a bowl until ready to use. The matzo balls can be made ahead of time & kept in a bowl, with a bit of stock to keep them from drying out.

For the soup, bring 2 quarts of chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Add in 1 cup of chopped carrots, 1 cup of chopped celery & 2 cups of wide egg noodles. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add in about 3 cups of shredding cooked chicken {use what you have leftover from stock} & a 1/4 cup of minced parsley. Season with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Simmer for a few more minutes, just to heat the chicken through.

Put a couple matzo balls in a serving bowl, ladle the soup on top & serve.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Matzo Balls

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa: Parties!
Serves 8
Making homemade chicken noodle soup with matzo balls from scratch can be a long process. It's easier if the components of this soup are made separately. You can make the stock one day & the soup the next, or whenever you'd like. I like to store chicken stock in quart containers in the freezer. It can be stored for up to 3 months. I am including some instructions for making some homemade stock of your own. It's just a guideline for those who might need some help in this area. Most of you out there, who enjoy cooking, are probably well aware of how to make chicken stock. In that case, just use what you usually would. I consider this version of chicken soup to be a more "kid-friendly" version, with basic ingredients {no funky vegetables} & the added treat of matzo balls {which my kids go gaga for}.

Stock:
1 whole 3 pound chicken
4 quarts water
1 whole onion {washed & skin left on}, quartered
2 whole carrots {washed & unpeeled}, cut in half
3 stalks celery {with leaves}, cut in quarters
1 whole head of garlic {unpeeled}, cut in half
A small handful of whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons of kosher salt {or more depending on taste}
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley

Soup:
2 quarts homemade chicken stock
Meat from 1 whole chicken {reserved after making stock}
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups wide egg noodles
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Matzo Balls:
5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup canola oil or chicken fat, melted {reserved after making stock}
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup matzo meal

To make the stock, add all of the ingredients to a large stockpot & simmer for 1 hour. Remove the chicken & transfer to a large bowl, or cutting board to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the breast meat {include dark meat, if you wish} & reserve for making chicken soup {or save for another use}. Put the remaining bones, etc. back in the pot & simmer the stock for an additional 2 hours. Strain all of the contents of the pot through a fine mesh strainer, saving the stock & discarding everything else. Skim the fat off the surface {this is easier to do when cool}. Reserve the fat for making matzo balls {if needed}. Let the stock cool to room temperature & refrigerate, or freeze until ready to use.
Note: The stock will have a gelatin like consistency when cool. This is a good thing.
A gelatinous stock implies lots of good protein.

For the matzo balls, add the egg yolks, chicken stock, chicken fat {or canola oil}, parsley & salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in the matzo meal.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the matzo mixture & chill for at least 15 minutes.
Bring a pot of chicken stock, or water to a gentle simmer. Shape the matzo balls using a small ice cream scoop, or two spoons {they should be approximately the size of golf balls} & drop them into the simmering stock. Keep the heat low enough that it's gently simmering, or they will break apart. Cover the pot & cook for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the pot & transfer to a bowl until ready to use. The matzo balls can be made ahead of time & kept in a bowl, with a bit of stock to keep them from drying out.
Note: Like dumplings, matzo balls soak up quite a bit of stock. So, if you don't have enough stock, you can use water, or a mixture of both. They make quite a mess when cooking them in the soup, which is why I don't cook them directly in it.

For the soup, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Add in the carrots, celery & egg noodles. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Shred the reserved chicken into bite sized pieces & add it into the soup, along with the parsley. Season with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Simmer for a few more minutes, just to heat the chicken through. Put a couple matzo balls in a serving bowl, ladle the soup on top & serve.
Click here for the printable recipe.

15 comments:

The Grubworm said...

Chicken soup is, along with a good cuppa tea, the best universal cure-all there is. And meatballs. I love meatballs. So this is a great combo - i'll be bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks for posting it.

Emily said...

Yummy!

Anonymous said...

What are those plastic containers the stock is in? Where did you get them?

kate said...

The containers are just Glad quart containers from the grocery store.

Ideal Living said...

Delicious recipe, and Gorgeous photos! Wow!

Patty said...

I could really go in for some chicken soup after reading this post; I've never had matzo balls though, going to find out tonight if I like them :) wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

hi,

your recipe looks really interesting, and the pics are wonderful. as a jewish woman whose grandmother taught her how to make matzoh ball soup, i can tell you that your recipe is pretty different, but quite intriguing. :)

one thing that is very different, though, is the addition of egg noodles. there is much passion about this in my family... we always had either chicken noodle soup or matzoh ball soup... but never matzoh balls and noodles in the same soup. that's a lot of starch at once.

others may feel differently, and that's cool. but you had to choose one or the other at my house. :)

kate said...

Anonymous~
I probably would have never had a matzo ball in my life, had I not spent many years living in Brooklyn NY & working in NYC. So, for me my experience is from Jewish delis & restaurants {not a grandmother}.
From this limited experience, I can tell you that the matzo balls in this recipe are quite different from what I'm familiar with. They are softer in texture. They are more free form looking...which, I love, because they look homemade.
However, the flavor is very similar.

I know that mazto ball soup does not contain noodles & is traditionally just broth, chicken, carrots & a matzo ball.
This is why I titled the post what I did. If we ever eat matzo ball soup at a restaurant, my kids order chicken noodle soup w/a matzo ball, because that's what they like. So, that's the way we do it.

A friend of mine made these with her mother last year for Passover. I believe she usually made them from a box mix {am I right, Lauren?}. They were a big hit! I think they served them with just broth & chicken...the traditional way.

So, of course, the noodles can easily be left out. There are really very little in the soup anyway.

Thanks for the comment. I probably should have made it more clear in the post that it was "not traditional" :)

~kate

Anonymous said...

beautiful! :)

Cindy said...

I make this each year during Passover (not Jewish, though). I never have enough for leftovers.

Amy said...

Thanks for your post..I do love your soup..I wanna give a try to myself if i have time..looks really yummy :)

Carrie said...

Well,The post is amazing.I love your soup and I wanna give a try to myself if i have time.they looks really yummy and the pics are awesome.keep it up.

Becky said...

Wow, I've never had matzo balls though, going to find out tonight if I like them :) wish me luck!

Allison Clark said...

Delicious. I could really go in for some chicken soup after reading this post; I've never had matzo balls though, going to find out tonight if I like them :) wish me luck!

Lauren H. said...

Ha, Katie, just saw your comment -- I wanted to leave another note telling you my mom and I made these again last night for Passover and they rocked! No, you don't have it quite right - we didn't use the box, the story is that we tried to follow my GRANDMOTHER's recipe and they tanked - literally, they were hard as rocks. That's when I insisted we take a crack at yours. So fluffy and lovely, they are wonderful. And yes, we served them simply in broth, nothing else, no veggies or noodles. When my grandmother served soup it was either one or the other; chicken noodle with veggies, or matzoh balls in broth.

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