I like to refer to matzo ball soup as "Jewish penicillin." It will cure everything from a cold to the blues. This is my mom's recipe and it tastes like childhood to me. It's deeply flavorful and incredibly comforting.
- 6 sheets matzo
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- 1/4 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 3 quarts good-quality chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
- 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 sprigs fresh dill, plus picked fresh dill for garnish
1. In a food processor fitted with a blade, process the matzo until finely ground and powdery, then pour into a bowl. Measure out one cup of the ground matzo and add back to the food processor. Add the eggs, water, vodka, schmaltz, salt, pepper and parsley to the machine and process until a dough has formed. Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, season your stock with salt, and bring to a simmer. Add the carrots, celery and dill sprigs to the pot and simmer until just tender, discard the dill and keep the stock warm.
3. In another pot bring water to a simmer and season heavily with salt.
4. Using wet hands, form matzo-ball mixture into walnut size balls, and add to simmering pot of water. When all matzo balls are all added, cover and simmer until matzo balls are cooked through about 45 minutes.
5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to serving bowls (you should have at least 3 per bowl). Ladle hot broth with carrots and celery into each bowl and garnish with dill.