Mmmm. Chicken soup. The weather's getting a little cooler, a little rainier, the nights growing incrementally longer...time for soup. I loves me some soup, and this recipe (despite its many steps) is actually very easy and relatively healthy. If you're not into the matzo ball thing, add noodles if you wish - my preferred method is to cook the noodles according to package directions, but halve the cooking time and add to the soup when you add the chicken to finish off.
Ingredients for Soup
2 T. olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8-10 cups of chicken stock (or 4 cups chicken stock plus water)
2-3 cups of roasted chicken, cut or broken into bite-size pieces
2 t. salt
1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste
Bay leaf or two
Matzo Ball Ingredients
Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix (1 packet)
2 T. vegetable oil
2.5 quarts cold water|
2 t. salt (optional)
Chicken Soup Method
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and slowly cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes or until onion and celery are translucent but not browned.
2. Add stock and/or water, potatoes, salt and pepper, bay leaf and other seasoning, and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add chicken last and simmer another 10 minutes (you don’t want the chicken to cook too much, just warm through, because it’s already cooked, and tough chicken is a wasted bird).
Matzo Ball Method
4. Meanwhile, make your matzo balls. I use packaged mix, but you can make your own mix if you’re feeling super-authentic. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Add the matzo mix and stir with a fork until evenly mixed.
5. Place bowl in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a LARGE pot (okay, the next-largest one you have, since the largest one’s holding the soup) with the salt. Matzo balls will EXPAND in the water, so you really want to use a big pot.
7. Take the mix out of the refrigerator and spray your hands with cooking spray (you can try with just wet hands, but trust me – it makes for a sticky mess!). Form batter into balls about 1 inch in diameter and drop into the boiling water. You should get about 9-12 balls out of the batter.
8. Reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 20 minutes. Matzo balls can be made ahead. Lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and store, refrigerated, until soup is done. Re-warm gently just before adding to soup.
9. When you’re ready to serve, put a couple of matzo balls into your soup bowls and ladle soup on top.