As a little girl, I remember our neighbor, who we called “Nana Louise.” She would start her preparation for Passover weeks before the actual date.
She would cook her chicken, save the fats, and always -- with lots of hand gestures -- explain to me about the chicken fat or “schmaltz,” as she called it. I just loved the way Nana Louise said that in her thick Boston accent.
She would spend hours chopping her veggies, making her “matzo balls” and simmering her broth. Fast forward 30 years, and you can buy matzo in a box, chicken broth in a can, and even pre-chopped veggies if you want. Those shortcuts make this soup easy to make.
I hope the smell and taste of this soup, and imagining Nana Louise’s voice, will warm your heart, just as it does mine.
Simple Matzo Ball Soup
- 1 pkg. (4.5 oz) matzo ball mix (sold in supermarkets with kosher foods)
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. chopped dill
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. salt
- Prepare the matzo ball mix according to the package directions. (For most packages, mix the matzo meal with 5 beaten eggs and ¾ cup oil. Stir (I use a wooden spoon). Cover the meal and put in the fridge for 20 min.
- Boil a large pot of water and add the salt. Wet your hand and carefully form the matzo ball mix into 1.5-inch balls. Gently drop them into the boiling water. Put the lid on the pot and let cook for 20-25 minutes on medium.
- In a separate pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the celery and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes. Once the matzo balls are done, add them to the pot of broth. Stir in the dill and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup with veggies and a few matzo balls.