Let’s set the record straight: the secret to great matzo ball soup is not the matzo balls (though these are light and fluffy and delicious, flavored with schmaltz, or chicken fat, as is traditional) but the broth. The homemade broth in this rendition is made from roasted chicken wings and is rich but clear, tasting first of chicken and second of sweet aromatic vegetables. Much of the work can be done in advance, but if you want to make and serve the soup on the same day, begin cooking about seven hours ahead. To make this recipe kosher for Passover, see the tip below.
Make Ahead Tips
The rendered schmaltz can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 months.
If making the broth ahead, cool the skimmed broth to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months; defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
The batter for the matzo balls can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.
To make these matzo balls kosher for Passover, omit the baking powder and substitute 2 Tbs. seltzer water for the 2 Tbs. of broth, adding more seltzer as needed to adjust the consistency. This will keep the texture light and fluffy without using chemical leaveners.
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Excellent recipe. It takes a long time to execute, so leave yourself enough. The recipe isn't clear that you'll need 4 tbsp of schmaltz, and it should be at room temp or so when you actually use it. I made the stock one day and the soup about 36 hours later, and the stock was so rich it turned to gelatin in the fridge - wow. The soup was delicious and the matzo balls were Eastern European traditional. My New York raised Jewish friend declared it a sound success and said it reminded him of his grandmother. Now that's a good recipe!
This is the best recipe! None of that awful foamy stuff to skim off. Roasting the wings first makes the soup a rich yellow color. The best!!
My family doesn't have a tradition of making matzo ball soup, but because we live in Chicago, we know good soup-- and this was very good! Moreover, the matzo balls were lovely-- light, but substantial, and very tasty. Finally, they were a dream to make-- just mix, rest, form, and poach. I made a batch with schmaltz and a batch with drippings from a pork roast (did I mention no family tradition?) and if you don't mind a little oink in your dumplings, the pork ones were great too.
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