I had my first taste of Matzo Ball Soup back in the ’60s when the late Mrs. Agathyne Applebaum sent me a bowl in celebration of Passover. (I had prior to that written a story on Mrs. Applebaum, who worked daily with her son Manuel in their office machines business just below Washington Street on Crawford.)
Mrs. Applebaum was a wonderful woman who never seemed to age. Her Matzo Ball Soup was also wonderful. There’s a neat little Jewish deli in New York City that makes a mean dish of matzo also. We go there on every visit.
With Passover next week perhaps you’d like to try to make your own special soup. Here’s a basic recipe.
Matzo Ball Chicken Soup
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash white pepper
1 tablespoon melted chicken fat, reserved from stock
1/2 cup matzo meal
3 pounds chicken pieces
1 carrot, sliced
2 stems celery, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
4 cups cold water
11/2 teaspoon salt
For the matzo balls beat the egg yolks with salt, pepper and nutmeg until thick; stir in reserved chicken fat. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into yolks. Gradually fold in matzo meal. Cover and refrigerate one hour.
Moisten hands and shape mixture into 6 balls. Put into gently boiling water and cook until balls are light and float to the top. Drain and reserve.
For the soup, place all ingredients in stock pot and gently boil for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain broth and refrigerate. Skim fat when cooled.
When ready to serve heat. broth, add matzo balls and heat through.
Matzo: The brittle flat, unleavened cracker which is the key food of Passover, commemorating the unleavened bread eaten during the Hebrews’ flight to freedom. Matzo meal is ground from matzos.