I spent Saturday morning making my homemade chicken matzo ball soup. This is a family favorite and one of my best ‘sense’ memories. I love when my kids come home from school and savor the familiar smell. They look forward to comfort food made with love. This recipe can be spread out over a few days if you are short on time; chicken soup actually gets better the longer it sits (not more than 5 days though).
Early in the week I usually make garlic roasted chicken. I save the carcass with breast meat (my family doesn’t love white meat) so I can boil it to make my soup base.
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Matzo ball mix
1 bundle of carrots
2 sliced and cubed sweet potatoes
2 zucchini’s chopped
1) In a large pot of water, I boil the chicken carcass with the onion, garlic and bay leaves. Boil for 30 minutes. Then let it sit covered for a few hours. The longer the better.
2) When it’s cool enough, remove the bones and separate the meat. I put it back into the soup pot. Discard the bones. I also give my German Shepherds the skin and cartilage. Everyone loves this recipe!
Add 1 Tbs of salt, ½ tsp of pepper. If you don’t have time to finish the soup, then put it in the fridge for a day or two until you have more time. Homemade soup is a labor of love so I steal a few hours when I can to make it!
3) Next, I prepare my matzo ball mix according to box directions. While it is settling in the fridge for the instructed time, I boil a large pot of water. While this is heating…
4) Chop the carrots, celery and parsnips. I love adding the sliced sweet potatoes and chopped zucchini.
There are no rules when making chicken veggie soup. My family can scoop out what they love, and even my picky Shaya can avoid the veggies if they are big enough but still gets the nutrients from my broth.
An extra yummy option is to chop 2 leeks and sauté the leeks with the carrots and celery to help bring out the flavor before adding them to your soup base. Not necessary, but oh-so-delicious!
5) I heat my chicken stock and add the veggies then let it boil for 45 minutes. Cover and let stand.
Matzo mix should be ready to make now.
6) With wet hands, the kids and I make the matzo balls about the size of a golf ball.
7) Drop the matzo balls into the boiling water (not the chicken soup). If the mix sticks to your hands, wet them again. Cover and simmer for 30 min.
When the soup is ready and matzo balls are done, you are ready to serve a delicious homemade healthy chicken soup that will satisfy many different tastes.
On some days in a separate pan I prepare egg soup noodles for extra filler for my little ones. There is something about chicken noodle matzo ball soup that always reminds me of home. I let my kids choose what they want and I scoop out accordingly in separate bowls. Shaya goes for broth and matzo balls with only chicken. Neriah eats everything but the noodles. Rain prefers noodles, chicken and broth with a little veggie, Sierra eats everything and David loves only the broth.
Matzo ball soup is one of my favorite comfort foods and I could eat it every day. I wish there was an easier way to prepare it, but some things are worth the wait. The more love I sprinkle into the dish, the better it tastes!
Btw, this soup gets better with time so I always make a HUGE pot for leftovers for dinner and lunch. My kids love to take it in a thermos to school, too.
Check back in for some other great school lunch ideas that I will post in next week’s blog. If you want to peek into my kitchen and see what’s cooking, follow me at @Operationhmchef.