Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Bubby's Matzo Ball Soup
Happy Rosh Hashanah!!! Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year - one of the holiest holidays we celebrate. My mother came to visit for the week so we did not need to eat matzo ball soup together over Skype. My mom was smart enough to get down my Bubby's recipe for matzo ball soup before she passed away two years ago. Nobody will ever do it exactly like Bubby did it - it would be impossible - my mom probably lacks the appropriate Czech paperwork - but, she absolutely does it the justice it deserves. This soup will always bring me back to my childhood, sitting in my Bubby's tiny Brooklyn kitchen on Friday nights, or my mother's Passover Seder table.
You can really use any soup recipe you'd like. This is extremely close my Bubby's...I added some of the things she did that make it very her own - like the fact that she always used turkey and NOT chicken. She called it chicken soup and we were none the wiser as kids. She also always put a potato in there, which is really yummy to eat along with the carrots and turkey meat.
There are some changes I have needed to make. Instead of the parsnip that I use, she always used "parsley root." It's called petrushka. You can't find it everywhere. So I usually use parsnip instead. My mother does not deviate, so she actually brought petrushka all the way from PA to use when making the soup at my house. My family also swears by bouillon. They add it to their soup. I don't. Add it if you like, but then be sure to start with much less salt if any at all.
For the soup:
2 turkey necks
2 turkey thighs
1 piece of lean bone-in meat (nothing fancy - it is just being used to flavor the soup)
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped into big chunks
3 carrots, roughly chopped into big chunks
1 parsnip, roughly chopped into big chunks
1 peeled potato
2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp kosher salt (or more to taste
Add all the ingredients in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for at least 3 hours. As it cooks, skim the top of the pot occasionally as it gets frothy with undesirables.
The matzo balls:
2 pinches of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1-1/4 cups matzo meal
Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the water and oil and combine. Now add the matzoh meal while stirring simultaneously. Cover and let rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. While you wait, bring 6 cups of chicken broth to boil in a wide pot. When ready, make 8 balls out of your mixture. You can roll them just like you would a meatball between your palms. Then add them one by one to the boiling broth. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for at least 30 minutes.
Serve the matzo balls with some broth, carrots, potato, turkey meat, and/or noodles. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!