Not-Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

by Jennifer

Chicken soup with matzah balls transcends the holiday of Passover, and Judaism as well.  This soup, which tastes like chicken soup but is vegetarian, is delicious any time of year.

Not-Chicken Soup – from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu

I highly suggest doubling this recipe and freezing some for the next time you have a recipe calling for chicken broth.  The photos for this recipe are actually from Passover, and I was doubling it already!

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 – 10 cloves garlic, smashed and peels removed
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • a good handful of white mushrooms, stems removed, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • (optional: a parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks;  a couple scallions)

Combine everything in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 75 minutes.  Remove from heat, remove the cover and let the soup come to room temperature.

Remove the solids, pressing on them gently to extract any broth before discarding them.

If you would like carrots and celery with your matzah balls, thinly slice a couple carrots and a couple stalks of celery and steam them until tender, about 10 minutes, then add them to the soup.

Matzah Balls

This recipe makes about 10 matzah balls;  feel free to double (I did, for Passover!).

  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water
  • 3 TBS vodka

Whisk together matzah meal and salt.

Stir in remaining ingredients

until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil;  while you’re waiting,

form the mixture into golf-ball sized balls (about 2 TBS) with wet hands.

When the water is boiling, add in all the matzah balls and cover, turning the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for 40 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer them to the soup and enjoy!  (One note:  the turmeric in the soup will turn the outside of the matzah balls yellow, which does not affect their taste.)


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