Matzo balls soup
Comment : here the broth is made light on purpose since a lot of other food is served after.
We only serve carrots with the broth along with the matzo balls. The matzo balls are given taste
by use of schmalz and onion. This recipe makes for 10 portions, scale it according to your needs.
The balls will be fluffy, and will thus absorb liquid. This is why they should be cooked in a good tasting broth.
One cup of matzo meal (120 g) should yield 12 to 14 balls, thus this recipe makes use of 2 cups of matzoh meal. As for the bouillon we need to make a lot since we need 1 cup (240 ml) per person, so about 2.5 l and we need about 4 l to cook the balls. We want to serve a clear broth, so we cannot cook the balls in the same bouillon that will be served. One solution is to cook the balls in a bouillon made with cubes or powdered chicken stock. The issue here is that most (but not all) cubes and powedered chicken stock are really bad, up to the point of containing no chicken at all - only chemicals (check the content!).
The other solution is of course to make a much larger quantity of bouillon.
We will cook fresh carrots in the finished bouillon so that they have some taste and structure, as opposed to the ones used to make the broth that will be discarded. Should you add pasta, cook them separately before adding them to the soup. An option is to cook the carrots separately in salt water or veggy bouillon and add them to the broth before serving.
As for the bouillon, avoid the use of a whole chicken or white meat. They do not add much taste; use dark meat, bones, etc.
3 l water
1 kg chicken parts (wings, possibly legs, necks, bones)
2 carrots cut in slices
1 large onion, peeled cut in 2
2 small to medium turnips in sticks
2 celery stacks sliced
8 to 10 sprigs parsley
4 to 5 sprigs dill, keep the leaves for decoration when serving
8 to 10 peppercorns
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic smashed
4 large carrots to serve with the bouillon
Place all the elements (except the 4 large carrots) in a pot and bring briefly to a boil.
If foam forms, remove it with a slotted spoon.
Lower the heat to a very low simmer, add enough salt and cook mostly covered for 3 to 4 hours.
Add water if there is too much evaporation.
Remove from the heat, pass through a sieve and discard all the solids.
Check the salt. The broth can be re-heated later when needed.
Cut the carrots in 2, then each section in 4 lengthwise to yield about 32 sections.
Place in bouillon and cook ~30mn just before serving (until carrots are tender).
Directly inspired from : How to make the best matzo balls
8 eggs beaten
1 large onion finely chopped
240 g (2 cups) matzo meal
1 tea spoon baking powder
a few gratings of nutmeg (~1/4 nut)
120 g schmalz (see note below)
120 ml seltzer or other fizzy water or if not available chicken broth
2 teaspoon salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
Your kosher butcher will probably sell you bits of chicken fat that will need to be melted.
About 300 to 400 g, possibly 500 g should yield enough chicken fat for our purpose, note that it takes up to 1 hour to prepare...
See Schmaltz (Rendered Chicken Fat) Recipe
Sweat and nicely brown the onion in the melting chicken fat on medium heat (8 to 10 mn).
Pass through a sieve to yield about 120 ml of chicken fat and discard the solids.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the schmaltz and the seltzer.
In a small bowl, stir together matzo meal with baking powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.
Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes. The mix will thicken and will be easier to form into balls.
Prepare about 3 to 4 l of broth for cooking the balls. It may be a good idea to divide it between 2 pots as the balls will more than double in size.
Using wet hands, form mixture into 1 inch balls (2 to 3- cm), and add to simmering pot of stock.
Do not overwork.
Note: the stock must be hot enough so the balls cook throughout...
When all matzo balls are done, cover and simmer (on low) for 1 hour.
Cooked matzo balls can be kept warm in their broth until ready to serve (*).
(*) last time I was forced to prepare the balls far in advance and reheat them before serving, they were kind of compact inside...
Serve the matzoh balls along with the clear broth and a few carrots sticks, and garnish with a few dill leaves.