Yes, I am aware that this is Hanukkah not Passover, but it is finally cold and this soup is sooooo good I cannot have it just once a year.
If you don’t want to do matzo balls you can just as easily add noodles or rice, but my preference is definitely the matzo.
Matzo Ball Soup
serves 4-6 as a main
1 4lb chicken
1 1/2 onions
6 celery ribs
1 bunch parsley
8 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 Tbsp. or package of chicken base, I used Knorr’s condensed chicken stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper
For Matzo balls:
Manischewitz matzo ball mix, 1 packet
1/3 c. finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Remove innards and clean out the inside of your chicken. place in a stock pot and add enough water to fully cover the chicken. Place over medium high heat. Now you are going to add your vegetables, keep in mind you are going to strain this all out so the carrots and celery can be very roughly chopped and the herbs can be left whole. To the stock pot add 1 onion, halved then quartered. 4 peeled and chopped carrots, 4 celery stalks, chopped, 8 Parsley sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, the celery seeds and the bay leaf. Season very generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Simmer the chicken 1 1/2 or until done. At this point take the chicken out to cool and add the chicken base. Continue to simmer your stock another 30 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle remove from the bone.
While stock is simmering prepare your matzo balls. I used the Manischewitz mix and added the 2 eggs and oil as well as 1/3 c. finely chopped parsley. Cover with saran wrap and chill 15-20 minutes. From our experience we find over chilling may contribute to heavy matzo balls so I would try to watch the time on this.
Get out the pot you want to cook your soup in, be sure it has a lid to properly cook the matzo balls. Strain your stock into the pot keeping the liquid and discarding the solids. To your broth add the 1/2 onion diced, remaining celery and carrot diced, and a few sprigs of parsley fine chopped. Add the shredded chicken. Place over medium high heat. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Once boiling drop the matzo balls into the soup. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes to cook through. Once cooked you can leave the soup over low heat until ready to serve. The matzo balls will continue to soak up liquid but that is okay. Give each person 1-2 matzo balls. Enjoy!
Happy Hanukkah Everyone!!!