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Matzo Ball Soup with Root Vegetables

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Serves 2 to 4

  • by from Cooking Off the Clock

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.

  • 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

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