March 31, 2015

Matzo Ball Soup w. Homemade Schmaltz

Matzo Ball Soup 4

Matzo, matza, or matzah ball soup has always been my favorite part of Passover Seder.  Believe it or not, my Italian mother makes the absolute best matzo balls, thanks to my dad’s grandma who taught her years ago.  She’s shared her recipe with me & now I’ll share it with you. 

Matzo balls consist of matzo meal, eggs, moisture and oil.  You can use vegetable oil OR you can use schmaltz.  Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat, flavored with onions.  I hear you can buy it in stores, but since I was unable to find any to purchase, I decided to make my dad & his bubby proud by making my own.  Thanks to the NY Times, I learned how to make schmaltz in the oven – to avoid coating my kitchen in a messy oil splatter.  You’ll get 2 tablespoons of schmaltz for every 2 chicken legs (thighs & drumsticks).  Here’s how I made it:

This sounds tedious, and it absolutely was, BUT it was totally worth it for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it was rewarding!  I’ve found the closer you are to your food while cooking it, the more proud you’ll feel once it’s complete.  Secondly, my dad was extremely happy to hear I was keeping one of his old family traditions alive.  Finally, my apartment smelled deliciously savory while the skin crisped and the fat rendered in my oven.  I had to open some windows so I wouldn’t smell like chicken the entire night, but during the process my nose was in heaven.  The only warning to homemade schmaltz, is you’ll want to snack on the gribenes afterward! 

Enough about my schmaltz kick.  Let’s get to some matzo balls!

The Tips



Matzo Ball Batter

Matzo Ball Soup 1

Matzo Ball Soup 2

Matzo Ball Soup 3

The Recipe

Matzo Ball Soup
Yields 6
Write a review
  1. 2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
  2. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or schmaltz
  3. 1/2 cup matzo meal
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons seltzer, room temperature
  6. 4 cups chicken broth
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 4 carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
  9. 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  10. Salt & pepper, to taste
  11. Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  1. If you're making homemade schmaltz, follow my mini-recipe above.
  2. To a medium bowl, slightly beat the eggs then add oil or schmaltz, matzo meal & salt. Mix using a fork. Add seltzer & mix until uniform. Cover & chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  3. While the batter is chilling, fill a large pot with the broth & water, then bring to a rolling boil. Add the carrots and celery, salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Remove the batter from the fridge and dampen your hands with cold water. Using a 1-2 tablespoon automatic scoop, gently scoop the batter into your palm & roll once or twice to form a ball. Drop each matzo ball into the boiling broth. Once you've finished dropping your matzo balls, cover the pot & reduce the heat to simmer.
  5. Let the matzo balls simmer for 30 minutes, until cooked through.
  6. Serve with parsley, if desired.
  1. If you want to double this recipe, do it one batch at a time so the measurements stay consistent.
Adapted from Mom
Adapted from Mom
Lana del Crave

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: