Matzo Ball Soup, a definite comfort food. The delicious chicken broth, the soft, warm matzo balls makes for a perfect soup on a crisp Fall evening! When I saw this recipe for Sephardic Chicken Soup on the Food Network, I knew that I had to make it. It has all the Latin flavors of the Mediterranean plus good old fashioned Matzo Ball Soup. To see how it’s made, keep reading.
- Saffron Matzo Balls
4 large eggs
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- For the soup
- Canned or homemade chicken stock
- If using canned, add the following and cook until the vegetables are soft and follow the directions below
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1 large leek, washed well and cut in half. (Make sure all the sand is out)
- 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 stalks of celery, cut into thirds
- A handful of Italian parsley
- A handful of dill
- 4-6 large whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 or 6 peppercorns
- Add all the vegetables, garlic and pepper to the canned stock and cook covered on a low flame for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Once done, discard the vegetables and strain the soup. Set aside until ready to use. The soup can be made in advance and frozen. It freezes very well.
- Sofrito (this is what gives it its distinctive Latin flavor)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- Small pinch of Saffron
- 1 tsp of hot pepper sauce (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. To a large bowl whisk the eggs, oils, water, parsley, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Add in the matzo meal and baking powder. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- When water is boiling, moisten your hands with water and form the matzo meal mixture into small 1 inch size balls. Gently drop them into the water. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning over half way through. They can be made in advance. Just keep them refrigerated and then bring to room temperature before adding to the soup.
- To make the Sofrito, add the oil to a large non stick Dutch oven. Add in the onions, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, garlic and Saffron. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, but do not brown. You just want the vegetables soft and tender. About 10 minutes. If using, add the hot sauce at the end.
- When you are ready to serve the soup divide the Sofrito, matzo balls and soup amongst the bowls and serve.