Matzo Ball Soup with Root Vegetables
This matzo ball soup is made with light and tender dumplings and pumped up with lots of flavorful vegetables that would make any grandmother proud.
Serves 2 to 4
1 cup matzo meal
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. rendered duck or chicken fat
3 oz. club soda
2 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
A few cranks black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/8 tsp. caraway seeds, toasted and ground
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
6 pearl onions, halved lengthwise
1 rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 baby or Thumbelina carrots, quartered lengthwise
2 Tokyo turnips, halved lengthwise (optional or other turnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
3 cups chicken stock
2 roasted baby beets, halved lengthwise (optional)
1 Tbs. minced fresh Italian parsley
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, fat, and soda water and then add the matzo meal. Add the 2 teaspoons salt, a few cranks of black pepper, and the ground caraway. Stir all the ingredients together lightly with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Form 1- to 2-inch balls of the mixture with your hands or a scoop. Do not compress or overwork the mixture or they will be tough. Decrease the heat to medium-high and drop the balls into the simmering water and cook for 25 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain, and set aside on a plate.
For the soup, add the vegetable oil to a sauce pot set over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and add the pearl onions, celery, carrots, and turnips, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and decrease the heat to a simmer. Add the matzo balls to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetable are tender.
To serve, spoon a few matzo balls into soup bowls and divide the vegetables and soup between the bowls. Add a couple of the roasted beet halves to each bowl and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
photo: Frankie Frankeny
From Book Cooking Off the Clock
, pp. 62-63
August 29, 2012