Photograph by Theo Vamvounakis Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Magic Matzo Ball Soup

Starters from Issue 6 – Fall / Winter 2015 – Magic

Matzo ball soup may serve a specific purpose during the eight days of Passover, when devout Jews eat only unleavened bread to honor their exodus from Egypt, but we think the “Jewish penicillin,” so named because of its inherent (and widely embraced) healing abilities, should be in rotation year-round. For those who don’t already have a cherished recipe passed down through generations, we offer up one from the Gather Journal family—forget chicken soup for the soul, this is matzo soup for the body, mind, and soul.

serves 6

Matzo Balls
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup matzo meal
  • 3 Tbsp chicken stock, broth, or water
  • 3 Tbsp rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp salt

  • 2 lb drumsticks
  • 2 carrots, quartered
  • 2 parsnips, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • handful parsley
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • chopped parsley or dill for serving

  • 1

    Stir together matzo ball ingredients and chill, covered, at least 1½ hours or overnight.

  • 2

    Place all the broth ingredients in a large pot with 12 cups of cold water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer 1½ to 2 hours and then strain. Season to taste with salt. (Add the meat back to the soup if desired or save for another meal).

  • 3

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Wet hands and gently shape matzo mixture into 6 balls. Simmer with the pot tightly covered until balls are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to hot broth and simmer 5 minutes longer. Serve soup sprinkled with chopped parsley or dill.