At our first passover, Wendy’s matzoh ball soup was so fluffy and rich that I decided to take a stab for our second gathering at Shoshi and Paul’s. Mamma’s matzoh ball soup was a staple in our kitchen; the thought that she wasn’t a Jewish mother wouldn’t cross your mind once! I decided it was time to discover whether I had inherited the matzoh ball gene. Except I had ten minutes to shop, and one-ish hour to cook. Oh, and no garlic or carrots for the stock. I called upon my goddess of improvisation – and she delivered!  Scrumptious!

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Paul’s homemade matzoh! Dara’s handwritten Haggadah.

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Last-minute Matzoh Ball Soup, for any occasion

Ingredients

    Matzoh Balls
  • half box of spelt matzoh meal, or one packet
  • 3 tablespoons schmaltz
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium pot of salted water
  • Broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups leeks, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1-inch fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 cup water with half cube (or tablespoon) bouillon dissolved
  • 2 medium golden or russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 5 all spice berries
  • as much dried oregano as you desire
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • parsley stems from leaves used for matzoh balls, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup water, plus one and a half cube (or 1.5 tablespoon) bouillon dissolved
  • 8 cups water

Instructions

    Matzoh balls:
  1. In a blender or food processor, grind the matzoh as finely as possible. If you don't have a blender, crush with your hands in a bowl and then grind with the bottom of a cup. You will end up with some bigger pieces - don't worry! Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a blender, beat the eggs and schmaltz together. If you don't have a blender, beat with a fork; the schmaltz is like gelatin, so you may need to mash it with a fork.
  3. Add the eggs and schmaltz to the matzoh, along with the parsley and sea salt. Mix well.
  4. Cover with a plate and place in the refrigerator for one hour. Meanwhile prepare the broth...
  5. Remove the matzoh from the refrigerator.
  6. Bring the pot of water to a boil.
  7. Using wet hands, form the matzoh into balls with about two tablespoons of matzoh dough. Set aside on a plate.
  8. When the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and drop in the matzoh balls gently with a ladle or spoon. Let them cook for about ten minutes, or until white and fluffy looking.
  9. Remove and add to the stock (below).
  10. Broth:
  11. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high.
  12. Add the leeks and saute for about two minutes, stirring constantly. Cover with a lid for two more minutes.
  13. Remove lid and add celery and ginger. Saute for another two minutes.
  14. Add one cup of water with the bouillon, potatoes, and all spices and herbs. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  15. Add the remaining water and bouillon and cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour.
  16. When the stock is done, and the matzoh balls are cooked, add them to the stock.
  17. Serve with fresh parsley, and one or two matzoh balls per bowl!
  18. You can store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat.
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