FOODS WE LOVE: Matzo ball soup | Seventh Generation
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FOODS WE LOVE: Matzo ball soup

Author: LisaFerber

A few weeks ago I came down with whatever cold it is that's been going around, and I had to cancel some plans. So the friend I canceled on had a few things delivered to my house from a fancy food shop: a perfectly soft roast chicken, some mildly spicy corn, and a pint of one of the strongest medicines known to humankind: matzo ball soup.


Regardless of whether a person grew up with matzo ball soup as part of their cultural heritage, it seems to have that soothing feeling for many who try it. A chicken-based broth, lightly seasoned, with a giant plush matzo ball that easily breaks into easy-to-chew pieces is a pretty safe bet for comforting a throat and a mind.


And while matzo ball soup isn’t a typical "health food," one serving does offer 6 grams of protein. Protein helps with development in childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, and is a component of every cell in the body, including hair and nails. It is an essential building block of bones, muscle, blood, cartilage, and skin.


The history of matzo ball soup, aka "Jewish penicillin," dates back to Biblical days. The Biblical story goes that when Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they did not have time to prepare their bread dough in such a manner that it would rise, so they took it with them unprepared and ended up cooking it in the sun on available rocks. This produced a crispy cracker, which they called matzo, and thus began the tradition of observant Jews only eating unleavened bread products during Passover.


Here is a recipe you can try at home, straight from the Food Network.


Matzo Ball Soup




For the broth:
• 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
• 3 stalks celery, halved
• 2 medium carrots, halved
• 1 onion, halved
• 5 plum tomatoes, quartered
• 3 sprigs parsley
• 3 sprigs dill
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 2 whole cloves
• Kosher salt


For the matzo balls:
• 4 large eggs
• 3 tablespoons grated shallot or onion, squeezed dry
• 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus small sprigs for topping
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
• 1 cup matzo meal
• Kosher salt



Make the broth: Put the chicken, celery, carrots, onion, tomatoes, parsley, dill, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves and 2 teaspoons salt in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, skimming off the foam occasionally, 3 hours. Strain, discarding the solids. Let cool until the fat rises to the surface. (The broth can be made up to 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.) Skim off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons fat for the matzo balls.


Make the matzo balls: Whisk the eggs and reserved chicken-broth fat in a bowl. Stir in the shallot, garlic, lemon zest, ginger, dill, parsley, matzo meal, 1/4 cup of the prepared broth and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands. Cover and chill until ready to cook, up to 8 hours.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the matzo balls and reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer; cover and cook until the balls are tender, 35 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the prepared broth. Drain the matzo balls and serve in the warm broth. Top with dill.


SERVES: 4; Calories: 130; Total Fat: 3 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 6 gram; Total carbohydrates: 20 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 1 gram; Cholesterol: 124 milligrams; Sodium: 242 milligrams


Photo: onlinepastrychef


sgegna picture
I so agree with the vegetarian/vegan comments....I also make a meat free version of "chicken" soup but have'nt done matza balls with it but it sounds yummy and I'll be making it soon. I've been vegetarian for over 40 years. As we slowly evolve as a species it seems more and more that we are learning to live just fine with out killling our fellow creatures.
OrganicCherry picture
I also love Seven Generation Products. Just my thoughts on chicken soup. For centuries chicken was food for humans just as small animals were always food for lions in Africa or bears in Alaska. This is how God intended the world to function. We do not say lions are cruel when they catch gazelles for food or snakes are cruel when they eat mice. This is how the world was created by God. When antibiotics were not common, my parents and grandparents used to treat their strep throat by eating chicken soup. Yes, chicken broth kills harmful germs. Eating chicken is healthy and completely natural for us. What i consider real cruelty is when animals are captured and kept in tiny cages against their will for fun and entertainment. For example, lions, tigers and elephants are mistreated and bitten in the Zoos for the sake of entertainment. Poor reptiles in Pet Stores are sitting on those unnatural plastic logs and plastic plants in a small glass box is just cruel. Even use of paper towels is an act of cruelty to the animals who used to live in those forests which were cut for making paper towels.
ETP picture
Good point!! It would be great if 7Gen could provide animal-free alternatives when offering recipe or product information. The food industry is rife with products that are unhealthy but that are marketed very successfully to an unwary consuming public. Now we have to read minute print or try to verify with producers that organic products are not genetically engineered, harvested ethically, sold in containers that don't leach toxins,etc. Profit is not a bad thing, profiteering is!! Long time Seventh Generation customer. We support your leadership.
WillyBMum picture
I love you guys and all that you stand for... But, let's not taint that by openly encouraging killing animals for food. It kind of goes against all that you are trying to promote - we care about the environment but we do not care about our animals who are innocent and slaughtered for food. I have been animal free for 22 years, and my Son who wears your nappies too since the day he was born. My mother in law makes an amazing vegan matzo ball soup which we have on appropriate holidays.... honestly their is absolutely no need or reason to kill our beautiful animals for a soup. Just a thought!!! Libby