MATZOH BALL SOUP
- 5 5 5pounds POUNDWeightchicken bones (5-6 for 6 servngs), including necks and feet, coarsely chopped
- 1 1 1medium carrot, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 1 1medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and quartered
- 1 1 1small celery stalk, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 1 1small leek, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 1 1sprig fresh thyme
- 3 3 3sprigs fresh parsley, with stems
- 1 1 1bay leaf
- 1/2 .5 .5tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumewhole white peppercorns
- 1 1 1whole chicken, washed and patted dry
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 3 3large carrots, cut into small cubes
- 2 2 2large onions, cut into small cubes
- 3 3 3celery stalks, cut into small cubes
- 3 3 3parsnips, cut into small cubes
- 3 3 3whole cloves, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied into a bundle
- 1 1 1recipe matzoh ball batter, prepared following recipe on the matzoh-meal box
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumefresh chopped parsley leaves
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumechopped chives
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumechopped dill leaves
- Use Wolfgang Puck® Free Range Roasted Chicken Stock or make the Chicken Stock: Put the chicken bones in a 6- or 7-quart pot, add enough cold water to cover them well, and bring to a rolling boil. As the liquid approaches a boil, carefully and continuously skim off the foam and fat that rises to the surface. Add the remaining stock ingredients, reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer, and continue simmering, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours, skimming as necessary. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool. The stock can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated; if you do so, discard the hardened layer of fat that forms on its surface before continuing; if you use the stock immediately, carefully skim off the liquid fat you see floating on its surface.
- To get the best flavor for your Chicken Soup, gently cook the whole chicken in the stock: Put the stock and the chicken in a large stockpot, add a little salt and pepper, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Add the cubed vegetables and clove bundle and simmer gently for another 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside to cool. Then remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken meat to the simmering broth.
- While the chicken is cooling, make the matzoh balls, following package directions and simmering them in a large pot of gently simmering salted water.
To serve the soup, ladle the broth, vegetables and chicken meat into individual soup plates or bowls. With a slotted spoon, transfer 1 or 2 matzoh balls from their pan to each bowl. Just before serving, garnish with chopped parsley, chives, and dill and serve immediately.
Note: Serves 5-6
Traditional Jewish matzoh ball soup, a mainstay of the Passover table and of delis everywhere, is basically a good chicken broth embellished with chicken meat, vegetables, and dumplings made from matzoh meal, ground up particles of the unleavened bread eaten during Passover. You'll find perfectly fine matzoh ball recipes on any box of matzoh meal. Lee Hefter, executive chef of Spago Beverly Hills, adds the important tip that, if you want the matzoh balls to be fluffier, shape them into balls with a very light hand, taking care not to compact them too much.