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April 16, 2011

Seven soups every Saturday: matzoh ball soup recipes


In the house where I grew up, matzoh balls were affectionately called "depth charges" because of their tendency to sink to the bottom of the soup bowl. My grandmother had the touch -- her matzoh balls were light as air -- but despite the fact that I use her recipe (dictated to me when I was eight years old, and written in my eight-year-old handwriting), I obviously lack the matzoh ball gene, and after half a century of trying, I've given up. Fortunately, many other cooks possess the genetic code for fluffy matzoh balls. If you've never had a matzoh ball, it's a round dumpling made of matzoh meal, almost always served in chicken soup. And the spelling? Matzoh, matzo, matzah -- all the same -- or, from the Yiddish, kneidlach or kneydls. The spelling doesn't affect the taste; matzoh balls should be puffy as a cloud.

Seven matzoh ball soup recipes caught my eye this week:

Chicken soup with asparagus and shiitake, served with roasted fennel matzoh balls, from The Culinary Chase

Matzo ball soup, from Smitten Kitchen

Sephardic matzo ball soup, from Tigers & Strawberries

Farmers' market matzo ball soup, from Albion Cooks

Probably not your grandmother's matzo ball soup, from Meats, Roots and Leaves

Pho-like matzo ball soup, from Got No Milk

Matzo balls with vegetable soup and Middle Eastern spices, from Cafe Liz

Find more delicious matzoh ball soup recipes on Food Blog Search. Come back every Saturday for seven soup recipes to enjoy any day of the week.

[Photo of chicken soup with asparagus and shiitake by, and used with permission of, The Culinary Chase.]


Posted by: Julia | April 16, 2011 at 06:27 AM

I've also struggled with light matzah balls... I think the secret is to make the batter as wet as possible and still hold together.

Posted by: Maris (In Good Taste) | April 16, 2011 at 08:55 AM

I also grew up on matzoh ball soup and have actually never made it myself. After seeing this picture, that is about o change!

Posted by: Pattyabr | April 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Wow another interesting recipe. I would love to try making a matzoh ball

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | April 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

I blame it on living in Utah all my life, but I have never once tasted Matzoh Ball Soup (or anything else made with matzoh either!) It's on my list of things to taste (but made by someone else!)

Posted by: CJ McD | April 16, 2011 at 01:48 PM

I've never made matzoh ball soup. Going to have to give it a try. BTW- Great recipe round up. I could eat everyone of them right now!

Posted by: Karen | April 16, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Thanks for your wonderful recipes! I have made matzoh ball soup all my life and I love texture and taste of the dense "depth charges"! I have found the boxed mixes (Manashevitz, Streitz, etc.) for maztzoh balls make the lightest ever! So don't worry about cheating if you want really light matzoh balls - or just make them 'our' way and enjoy what my family calls 'matzoh plops'!

Posted by: Lydia | April 18, 2011 at 02:05 PM

Julia, the one thing I do know if that you need to refrigerate to firm them up, but if you refrigerate for too long, the matzoh balls lose their lightness.

Maris, I wish you better luck with the matzoh balls than I've had. My grandmother would be mortified at how badly I've done!

Pattyabr, matzoh balls are truly delicious. I hope you try them.

Kalyn, it's hard to describe the taste of matzoh (it doesn't have any taste, really), but it gives great texture to many dishes, especially those made with eggs, or soup.

CJ, my family only makes matzoh ball soup one way, so I'm looking forward to trying some of these interesting variations, too.

Karen, I am sending you all of my homemade matzoh balls -- my family just makes fun of them, but you might like them. I agree about the boxed mix. Not bad.

Posted by: tinytearoom | April 20, 2011 at 08:23 AM

I'm so happy to have stumbled across your blog. I am a soup chick too! I can have them as an entire meal, 3 times a day. I don't care what anyone else thinks. I think I might hang around for a while if you don't mind :)

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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