My Aunt Annette’s Matzo Ball Soup

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes 12 matzo balls. Serves

    6

    as a substantial soup, 12 as a light soup as part of a rich holiday meal

Appears in

Healthy Jewish Cooking

Healthy Jewish Cooking

By Steven Raichlen

Published 2000

  • About

Every family has one superlative cook: ours was my great-aunt Annette Farber. Armed with little more than a few battered pots and wooden spoons, she would create exquisite elaborate dinners for forty people. (Without the benefit of food processors, microwave ovens, or a dishwasher, of course.) Her gedemfted chicken was the stuff of miracles. Her brisket could make you weep. As for her matzo balls, well, suffice it to say that rabbis would drive from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore just to have a seat at our Passover table. What makes a great matzo ball? It shouldn’t be too light. (Heaven forbid!) And it shouldn’t be too heavy. Aunt Annette achieved the perfect consistency every time—with nary a measuring cup in sight. To create a low-fat matzo ball, I’ve made a few small adjustments to Aunt Annette’s recipe. Mostly, I’ve reduced the amount of schmaltz. The club soda acts as a natural (and legal!) leavening agent. You’ll be pleased to know that Aunt Annette (age ninety-two) gives the following recipe a thumbs-up!

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes, Plus 4 to 6 Hours for Chilling the Matzo Balls
Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Matzo Balls

  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons real schmaltz or mock schmaltz
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste, plus additional as needed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons club soda or seltzer water
  • 2 cups matzo meal
  • 2 quarts basic chicken broth
  • 2 scallions, green part only, finely chopped

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, schmaltz, onion, parsley, ginger, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg and beat with a fork to mix. Beat in the club soda, followed by the matzo meal. The mixture should be thick but pliable (roughly the consistency of soft ice cream). If too thick, add a little more club soda; if too thin, add a little more matzo meal.

  2. Wet your hands with cold water and pinch off walnut-size pieces of matzo mixture. Roll them into lVi-inch balls between the palms of your hands. Arrange the matzo balls on a plate lined with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

  3. Bring 1 gallon lightly salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Drop the matzo balls in one by one. Better still, roll them down on an inclined cutting board into the water. This keeps them perfectly round. Simmer until cooked and tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a colander to drain.

  4. To serve the soup, heat the broth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Place two matzo balls in each soup bowl and ladle the broth over them. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve at once.

236 CALORIES PER SERVING (2 BALLS PER SERVING); 7.8 G PROTEIN; 6.2 G FAT; 1.8 G SATURATED FAT; 37.1 G CARBOHYDRATE; 440 MG SODIUM; 74.5 MG CHOLESTEROL