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Matzo Ball Soup

Serves 4 - 6

The first time I made this was over 25 years ago for a family I was teaching. I remember the mom saying, "Are you sure you aren't Jewish"? I attribute this to using schmaltz, aka chicken fat. Growing up in Virginia, we used animal fat in everything, making such a difference in the outcome. These are just light enough but still, have a bit of chewiness. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

For the Matzo Balls:

1 cup matzo meal

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons schmaltz, melted

¼ cup seltzer

3 quarts chicken stock

Combine the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and schmaltz. Add the egg mixture to the matzo and stir gently until just combined. Add in the seltzer and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for ½ - 1 hour.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil. Remove the matzo mixture from the refrigerator and form it into balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Add to chicken stock and reduce heat to just a simmer; cover tightly and cook for about 40 minutes or until matzo balls float to the surface. Remove from stock. Place matzo balls in a bowl and cover with chicken soup.

For the soup:

Serves 4 - 6

3 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil

½ cup medium dice carrot

½ cup medium dice celery

½ cup medium dice yellow onion

2 cloves minced garlic

2 quarts homemade seasoned chicken stock, heated

4-6 small sprigs of dill

Zest of one lemon

In a large sauté pan, heat schmaltz; add in carrot, celery, and onion; season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add in garlic and cook another minute. Remove from heat and divide among bowls with matzo balls; pour 1 ½ - 2 cups of chicken stock into each bowl and garnish with dill and lemon zest.


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