This post is written by Leah our daughter.
As a cultural assignment for my French class, I prepared a dish that was part Jewish and part French. While searching on the internet for recipes, many of the links led to a book by Joan Nathan called Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. It had recently come out, and therefore, my nearby library was still in the process of obtaining it. I put the book on hold (it is still not on hold yet). Thankfully, Mamie (my mother) did another Google search and found two recipes for me, one of which is described below. It is actually an adapted version of a recipe from Joan Nathan’s book.
This was actually the first time I recall eating matzo ball soup. It was different than I had expected. Instead of molding the “dough” into beautiful round balls (like the picture on the front of the box mix at the store, the recipe called for pushing spoonfuls of dough into boiling water, thus creating funny shapes. Perhaps this is what Joan Nathan meant when she stated, “French matzo balls have a more abstract, irregular shape than American ones.” The publisher of the adapted recipe notes that you can boil the matzo balls in salt water before transferring to the broth, but she prefers the taste of the balls after being “steeped” in the broth. This soup was prepared ahead of time and then transferred into the crockpot.
Recipe adapted by Leah and Zachary Bruno
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 8 eggs
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
• 2 cups matzo meal
• 12-14 cups vegetable broth (we added organic vegetable powder to water)
• 5 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
• 2 tbsp dried dill (fresh dill is optional)
• 1 lb of chicken breast or cut of your choice (optional)
- This is an optional step and can be omitted if you prefer to make your soup without the chicken and use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. The recipe was adapted by adding the chicken in order to give us a hearty soup.
- start by cutting up the chicken into bite size pieces and then pan cooking them. Make sure to drain off fat as needed. Once the chicken starts to cook, add at least ¾ cup water. By allowing the chicken to cook in the water for a few minutes, this will give you your chicken broth you need to make the matzo balls. You may not need to add water as there is always extra chicken juice which can be salvaged from cooking poultry.
- In bowl of food processor, add oil, eggs, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 teaspoons of salt, and pepper. Add the matzo meal, and pulse just to mix. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Bring 12-14 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add carrots and reduce heat to simmer. After you’ve simmered for at least 10-15 minutes, transfer cooked carrots and some of water into crockpot.
- Using two teaspoons, scoop some matzo meal with one spoon and push into pot of boiling water (pot used to cook carrots) with the second spoon. Once the matzo balls are all made, transfer them into the crockpot along with the rest of the liquid. Add some of the dill and keep the soup warm until it is time to eat.
- When ready to eat, add remaining dill and serve.
This recipe was shared with:
Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS
Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet