My grandmother’s matzo ball soup was legendary. We only got the pleasure of eating it a couple times a year – but that made it all the more special. When I moved to Denver, I was too far from home to enjoy her soup over the holiday – so I called her up so she could explain to me over the phone, how to make her soup. It took about 10 phone calls, but I made the most incredible pot of soup that you have ever tasted. I brought the spoon up to my face, and I knew I had it right. That aroma was so familiar to me, I was back in my grandmother’s dining room watching her serve the soup. When I finally took a taste, I almost fainted. It was incredible. This soup is really magical.
There are a few reasons why the soup and matzo balls are so good – she explained. For one thing, her balls were always light as a feather – and the secret was Manischewitz. She told me not to bother with balls from scratch, these were the best – and always turned out good. She said to add a little parsley (although I use dill) in to make them look homemade. The soup – the secret was to grate some sweet potato (or yams) in at the end – it turns the soup a rich golden color – and adds a wonderful sweetness to the soup. Also – instead of using salt, she puts in the soup mix that comes in the Manischewitz box into the stock. It works like a charm – I never have to add any additional salt.
Obviously I don’t believe in secret recipes – because sharing amazing food is what it is all about for me – so please – enjoy this soup…it’s a keeper.
- 1 package of Manischewitz Matzo Ball & Soup Mix
- 2 pounds of chicken wings (my grandmother used a baby kosher chicken, but it is easier for me to find chicken wings in our non-kosher supermarket)
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 yellow squash, cut into large chunks
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 5 celery ribs, cut into large chunks
- 1 medium leek, cut into large chunks – white and pale green parts only
- 2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into large chunks - I prefer the orange ones to give the soup a dark color
- 4 sprigs of dill, separated
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Put the soup mix (not the matzo ball mix) and the rest of the ingredients through the sweet potatoes in a very large stock pot. Cover with water. Cover the pot. Cook on high heat until you get a nice boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add 3 sprigs of dill, and simmer for another hour.
Strain out all of the vegetables and chicken using a fine strainer. Save the carrots for the soup – wash them off with water to remove any grime. Remove the potatoes and using a very fine strainer and a spoon, force one potato through and stir into the soup. Taste for flavor – boil the soup if it needs more flavor, or add water if it is too strong.
At this point you can freeze the soup with the carrots until you are ready to make the matzo balls. Bring the soup back to a boil. While you are doing that – make the matzo balls. In a small bowl, blend 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add matzo ball mix and stir with a fork until evenly mixed. Chop the last dill spring and add to the matzo ball mixture. Place bowl in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Wet hands and form batter into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Drop into boiling soup. Cover tightly – and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
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