There was a point when I was making homemade chicken soup on a semi-regular basis. But then I faced the reality of how time consuming it is to make. So I found a practical way to satisfy my need to cook chicken matzo ball soup that still tastes like the real thing.
I'm a big fan of packaged matzo ball mix. This has been my matzo ball "recipe" of choice ever since I was younger and tried to make homemade matzo balls for my grandpa (which resulted in him lovingly calling the dumplings, "matzo bombs"). The mix is an easier way to go, and it guarantees a good matzo ball every time, saving you from a dreaded matzo bomb!
- Boxed or canned chicken stock, my favorite brand is Swanson's Organic
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
- Egg noodles, any size will do, but I like to use the real thin ones
- Onion(s), I like to use a combination of shallots, leeks, and red or yellow onions
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs, I like to use dill and parsley
- Lemon, to taste, optional
- Matzo ball mix
- Eggs (for the matzo balls)
- Vegetable oil (for the matzo balls)
- s & p
Making the Soup:
- Put 2 medium pots of water on to boil.
- Meanwhile, follow the matzo ball directions, make the mixture, and put the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Finely chop the onion(s) and garlic.
- When the water is boiling, add the chicken breast(s) into one pot, and the egg noodles into the other. The chicken will take about 10-12 minutes to cook, but it depends on the size of the chicken. So keep an eye on it, and when you think it's done, slice the middle of the breast with a knife, to make sure it is not pink.
- Put one large pot of water on to boil.
- Wash and chop the fresh herbs, and set aside. Slice a lemon, if using, and set aside.
- Drain the noodles when they are cooked, and set aside.
- Heat the pot that was used for the noodles over a medium flame. Add the onion and garlic, turn the heat down to low, and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken stock to the pot, and continue to cook over a low heat.
- When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the water. You can rinse it will cool water or wait until it is cool enough to touch, to then rip the meat into shreds.
- Form the matzo mixture into balls, and place them into the large pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and follow the cooking time directions on the package.
- Once the matzo balls are cooked, all of the ingredients will be ready for building individual bowls of soup.
- To build a bowl of soup, scoop in some noodles, then ladle in some broth. Add in some chicken shreds, and place a few matzo balls in the bowl. Finish with a healthy handful of fresh herbs, a couple of shakes of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon if you so desire.
Keeping the different elements of the soup separate helps them hold up well in the fridge for leftovers, which allows you to make more soup, and use the components in a variety of future meals. If making a single batch for just one meal, all of the ingredients can be added to the same stock pot and ladled out all together.
Cooking all of the different elements, such as the noodles, chicken, etc. individually is the system that works best for me, but experiment with cooking them in one pot. It will certainly shave off time and dishes.
For more veggies in your soup, try putting in some carrots and celery when cooking the onions and garlic, and throw in a big handful of spinach at the end of the cooking time.
There you have it, Mama Shayna's matzo ball soup. Bon appetite!