Every Jewish person will tell you that their grandma makes the best matzah ball soup. In my case, my grandma makes the best matzah ball soup. It can cure an illness. It can instantly make me feel like I’m three again. Most importantly, my grandma has been making it since she was 11-years-old.
The smell of this broth is the seminole centerpiece of every holiday dinner. Here’s the recipe, as told by my grandma, Norma.
Norma’s Matzah Ball Soup
1-1/2 whole kosher chickens (or 1, whichever you prefer), cut in quarters and use the neck
1-1/2 to 2 pounds carrots, peeled
4 parsnips, peeled
4 parsley roots, peeled, greens discarded
1 large and 1 medium white onion, peeled and cut an “X” slit at the top of each
1 bunch of dill, washed–must smell fresh
1 cube Osem Chicken Consume
Pinch of salt
Makes 18-20 cups of broth, enough for two days.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. In the meantime, clean the chickens. Some people take off the skins but this reduces the favor. Put chicken in a bowl, of course, and pour the boiled water over the chicken. This allows any remaining feathers to become loose. Let the chicken sit with the water for 5 minutes, then dump out the water and remove feathers.
Boil water in the pot with a little salt. Once the water has boiled, add in the onions, parsley root, carrots and parsnips. Allow the vegetables to sit for 5 minutes and then add in the chicken. Reduce the heat, and skim off the fat as it rises for the next 15-20 minutes. Cut 1-inch off of the dill stems. Wrap the bunch tightly with a cotton string (don’t worry, it’ll never end up in the soup), place in the pot and continue to skim off the fat.
After the broth has cooked for 30-40 minutes, place the consume cube in– it adds a
little zing, that’s my secret. Let the broth cook for a few more minutes (it will cook for 1 hour -1 hour 15 minutes total) and feel the carrots to see if they’re soft. Once they are, the broth is ready. Never add in black pepper; people may not like it. Place a bowl under a mesh strainer and pour the contents of the pot through the strainer little by little. Once everything has been strained, pour the broth into a large glass container and cool in a refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, skim off the fat. Drive 55 miles to your grandchildren’s house. Re-heat and serve broth with matzah balls, the boiled chicken (remove skin and bones and tear) and carrots. Unfortunately I can’t give out the matzah ball recipe; my grandma didn’t make 90 this year for nothing.
Wishing everyone a sweet New Year.