My maternal grandmother made the best soup I’ve ever had in my life. This soup was such a treat every time we got to eat it. It was her cure-all matzo ball soup! The soup is truly comfort food for the soul; it’s warm, soothing, slightly sweet, savory, and beyond delicious. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed in 2016, and we weren’t able to get her exact recipe from her. In the years since her passing, I’ve tried multiple times to try and replicate it, and this recipe is the closest I’ve ever gotten! I did remember her always saying her secret ingredient was rutabega, for the slightly sweet taste in the broth. In my many times trying to replicate her recipe, I discovered that making the matzo balls tiny was a lovely change that lends itself to the perfect bite… EVERY bite! Every time I taste this soup, it’s incredibly nostalgic for me, and brings me right back to my grandma’s dining room. I hope you love it as much as I do!
FOR THE BROTH
- 5 raw chicken legs
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 medium white onions, chopped
- 1 large rutabega, chopped into small cubes
- 2 leek stalks, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley
- 1 small bunch fresh dill
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Kosher salt, to taste
FOR THE BROTH
To start the broth, begin by blanching the chicken legs to remove excess fat and impurities. To do this: place the chicken legs into a tall soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water up to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a large spoon, skim the impurities off the top as they rise to the surface. Once the water comes to a boil, drain and discard the murky water. Cover the chicken legs again with cold water, and return to the heat. Slowly bring to a simmer, skimming any additional impurities off the surface.
Add the celery, carrots, onions, rutabega, leeks, and garlic into the pot. Gently simmer for about 45 minutes. Next, add in the parsley, dill, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Continue to gently simmer for another 45 minutes.
Remove the chicken legs from the broth once cooked through (reaching an internal temperature of 165°F.) Once the legs are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and set aside. The meat can be used for other dishes.
Once all of the meat has been removed, return the bones to the broth. Continue to simmer the broth for one hour or longer to extract the flavor from the bones, veggies, and herbs. Add in Kosher salt to taste, and taste for seasoning and flavor. Once you’re happy with your broth, remove the solids and strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve.
Cool the broth, place into a sealed container, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the hardened fat from the top. Heat up the soup in a pot on the stove when you’re ready to eat!
PRESENTING THE SOUP
- 1 pack Kosher egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 pack Matzo ball soup mix
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- thinly sliced carrot pieces, to garnish
- fresh dill sprigs, to garnish
PRESENTING THE SOUP
Cook the Kosher egg noodles in boiling water according to the package instructions. It’s best to cook the noodles al dente, since they will cook a little more when placed into the hot broth for serving.
Meanwhile, prepare the matzo ball mix according to the package instructions (using eggs and vegetable oil). When ready to shape the mix into balls, use a 1/4 teaspoon to measure out extra small balls – perfect for getting the most ideal bite of soup! Cook the tiny matzo balls in salted boiling water according to package instructions for cook time.
Heat up the broth in a pot on the stove. Once everything is ready, serve broth in bowls, add in the noodles and matzo balls. Garnish with thinly sliced carrots and sprigs of fresh dill. Enjoy!