Matzo Ball Soup, adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 stalks celery, each cut in thirds
4 carrots, unpeeled, cut in pieces
4 garlic cloves smashed
6 sprigs parsley
6 sprigs dill
salt and pepper
For matzo balls:
1 cup of matzo meal
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup chicken fat (from soup) melted
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon each minced parsley and dill
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock (either soup above or canned low salt broth - this will be used to cook the matzo balls, which will absorb a lot of the soup, so it is extra stock from what will be served as soup)
6 carrots, thinly sliced or diced
4 pieces of celery, sliced or diced
1/4 cup each minced fresh dill and parsley
optional: cooked chopped chicken
- For stock, in a very large stock pot, put the chicken and all other stock ingredients. Cover with water by 4-6 inches.
- Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour.
- After an hour remove the chickens and remove the breasts from each chicken, which should be cooked through. Set aside the chicken for use in the soup or any other use.
- Put the chickens (sans breasts) back in the pot and continue to simmer for 3 hours or so.
- Strain the contents of the pot through a colander. You could try to strain the fat now, but I recommend you now store the chicken stock in a plastic container and refrigerate over night. You then should be able to easily remove and save the chicken fat, which will be a light layer on the top of the soup.
- For matzo balls: In a medium bowl mix the matzo meal, eggs yolks, chicken fat, chicken stock, herbs and salt and pepper. Mix until fully combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy and there are soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the matzo meal mixture until totally combined.
- Put this mixture in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.
- For soup with matzo balls: Bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a low simmer.
- To form the matzo balls, wet your hands and form into small balls - a little bit larger than a golf ball.
- Drop the matzo balls into the stock and let cook for about 30 - 40 minutes until puffed up and cooked through, turning once during this time.
- Meanwhile, bring the homemade chicken stock up to a simmer and add the carrots, celery and herbs and shredded reserved chicken.
- Cook for about 15 minutes until the veggies are lightly cooked.
- Place two matzo balls in each bowl and ladle the soup over it.