Keeps: 3 days in the fridge
Freeze: 3 months
Soup 22 cals, 5 g carbs
Matzah balls 125 cals, 9 g carbs
Chicken Soup, aka Jewish penicillin, is one of the world’s great comfort foods. And now scientists have confirmed what Jewish grandmothers have known for centuries – it’s good for you!
As a young wife making chicken soup and matzah balls (knaidlach) for her new husband Myer, Evelyn Rose discovered the hard way that one family’s perfect knaidlach are another one’s cannonballs! If your family like them very soft, add an extra tablespoon each of oil and soup to the mixture.
Using chicken bone broth adds a wonderful depth of flavour to the soup. We’ve also added some healthy twists to the matzah balls. Oat bran, undetectable in the finished matzah balls, helps lower cholesterol, and ground almonds are a good source of vitamin E, which protects against UV light damage and Alzheimer’s. Almonds also contain monounsaturated fat that can reduce the risk of heart disease (if you’re allergic to nuts, use an extra 2 tablespoons of oat bran instead). Last but not least, we’ve replaced the traditional schmaltz (chicken fat) or margarine with heart-healthy olive oil.
Find the Chicken Bone Broth recipe, which is the basis for the soup, here.
For the soup
1.75 litres (3 pints)
Chicken Bone Broth (recipe here)
3 young carrots
white part of a leek
1-2 sticks celery
5 grinds white or black pepper
For the matzah balls
2 large eggs
100 g (3 ½ oz) medium or fine matzah meal
30 g (1 oz) ground almonds
1 tbsp oat bran
pinch ground ginger
½ tsp fine sea salt
90 ml (6 tbsp) tepid
pinch of white pepper
60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
To make the soup, thinly slice or finely dice the trimmed and peeled carrots, leek, and celery. Put all the ingredients into a large soup pan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10- 15 minutes.
To make the matzah balls, whisk the eggs in a bowl with a rotary whisk or electric hand mixer for 2 minutes until light and frothy. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix gently with a fork until evenly blended. Your mixture should be moist and thick but not quite firm enough to form into balls. Pop it into the fridge, covered with clingfilm for half an hour or so to firm up.
Half-fill a large soup pan with water and bring to a simmer. Take pieces of the chilled mixture the size of a large walnut and roll into balls. If you first wet your palms very slightly, you’ll find you can make smoother, rounder balls. Drop the balls into the simmering water, then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes without removing the lid. Transfer them to the simmering chicken soup with a slotted spoon and serve.
JUDI’S TIP: to make the matzah balls ahead, cook then freeze them on a baking paper-lined tray until solid, then store in a sealed freezer bag. They can be reheated from frozen in the simmering soup.