There are pain relievers and antibiotics, and then there is Matzo Ball Soup. Often referred to as Jewish Penicillin, this soup has a chicken broth base with dumplings made from matzo meal (flour), and sometimes veggies like carrots and celery. It can be served with or without chicken and noodles and is best, of course, with homemade broth. So, no matter what ails ya, matzo ball soup is here to help.
To make the broth you will need:
1 (5 pound) chicken 2 large celery stalks with leaves, chopped 2 large carrots, sliced into big chunks 1 yellow onion, quartered 3 sprigs parsley Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and dry the chicken and place it in a large stockpot. Cove it with water and bring to a boil, skimming off the foam occasionally. Add the veggies, herbs and spices and cover halfway with a lid. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. You'll know it's done when it pulls away from the bone. Pour the soup through a strainer and let cool. When the broth has cooled completely, skim off the fat from the top and save it for the matzo balls.
To make the matzo balls you will need:
4 eggs, lightly beaten 3-4 tablespoons chicken fat (from the recipe above) or vegetable oil 1 cup matzo meal 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup hot water
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the eggs and the chicken fat (schmaltz). Mix in the matzo meal and salt and slowly add in the hot water. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Bring the broth back to a boil. Form the matzo balls, about the size of a golf ball. Add them to the pot and cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.