For some of you, matzo ball soup is a once-a-year treat that your mother used to make for Passover every spring. For others, it’s that warm dumpling-esque soup you get at the Deli on 32nd street. But for most, it’s probably something you’ve heard about, maybe from a Woody Allen movie or your Jewish friend, but never tried. Those matzo balls always looked kind of funky, and it’s almost impossible to get it pre-made outside of New York City. I’m here to tell you that basic matzo ball soup is about as easy as soup gets, and so comforting.
Matzo balls outweigh pasta or rice in soup both literally and figuratively. They’re dense, yet fluffy, and they absorb the broth in which they are cooked, giving them lots of great flavor. In honor of Passover, I made a big batch of traditional matzo ball soup. When I say traditional, I don’t mean the way my ancestors may have made it 100 years ago. I mean the way I was taught to make it – bouillon cubes, matzo meal in a can, and all. Kim Sunee, our Food and Wine Editor, will be making a more contemporary, more inventive, and probably more upscale version of the soup over on her blog, Tasteful Travels. But if you want a quick and gentle introduction to matzo ball soup, give this a try!
Yield 26 small matzo balls in 8 cups of broth
1/2 cup Matzo Meal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
2 quarts water
4 bouillon cubes (or amount needed for 2 quarts of water)
1 large carrot