Recipe: Matzoh Ball Soup
This week’s recipe is from Berkshire-based duo The Butcher & The Baker. The Butcher is Jake, a nose-to-tail butcher/artist, who loves to cook and grew up in the woody hills of Western Massachusetts where his passion for local, fresh food was first instilled in him. The Baker is Silka, a designer/crafter who loves to bake and grew up in rural Western New York where her parents are candlestick makers. Together they spend most of their time talking about, shopping for, making, and eating food. By sourcing locally and sustainably, and spending time with the producers of their food, they’ve learned that every meal tells a story.
Passover is one of our all-time favorite holidays. Come on — it’s a night on which we use food to tell a story about justice! What could be more up our alley? Every year we gather around Jake’s parents’ dining room table with familiar faces for a long night of singing, eating, drinking and telling stories. It’s something we look forward to all year, so it’s no surprise that we’re already in menu-planning mode.
Our (semi-) traditional seder dinner consists of eco-kosher certified VerMatzoh, hard boiled eggs, parsley, charoset, horseradish and matzoh ball soup — but instead of brisket, we like to serve a leg of lamb. It just seems more fitting to spring — and especially on this holiday in which the paschal lamb looms so large. The whole meal comes together so perfectly.
In our family, the matzoh ball soup is the anchor of this leisurely multi-course meal. And like any good Jewish boy, Jake knows his mom’s recipe is the best. The recipe is borrowed from A Little Jewish Cookbook, literally a pocket-sized book that Jake bought for his mom on a childhood trip to Ellis Island. It makes the lightest, most (heart) warming matzoh balls we’ve ever had.
Matzoh Ball Soup
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
½ tsp. ground ginger
6 Tbsp. of freshly melted schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup of sparkling water
1½ cups of matzoh meal
6 eggs, beaten
2 quarts of chicken stock
4 large carrots sliced into ¼-inch thick wheels
1. Stir parsley, ginger, salt, pepper into schmaltz.
2. Add eggs and sparkling water and beat to blend. Stir in matzoh meal.
3. Refrigerate for one hour. In the meantime, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
4. Wet hands and form chilled matzoh mixture into golf ball sized balls. Drop into boiling chicken stock, along with sliced carrots.
5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until balls float to top. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.