Matzoh Ball Soup

From Vegan with a Vengeance 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (DaCapo Lifelong Books) Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes Chilling Time:  12 hours Cook Time:  40 minutes

Matzoh Ball Soup

Nothing speaks to a Brooklyn Jewish girl’s heart more than a matzoh ball. These are perfect light, fluffy, and flavorful matzoh dumplings. Use homemade vegetable stock to add tons of love and flavor. I suggest making the vegetable broth the night before. You can even make the matzoh mixture the night before, and the big day will be a breeze. If you don’t have a huge stockpot (I use a 16-quart), then halve the recipe or boil the matzoh balls in two sessions. I make my own matzoh meal by grinding the matzoh in a food processor (it takes about six sheets to get the 1½ cups called for in this recipe) but store-bought will work just as well.--Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Ingredients

1½ cups matzoh meal

¾ teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu, such as Mori-nu (the vacuum-packed kind)

8½ cups or so vegetable broth (see Kitchen Tips)

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium-size carrot, peeled

A handful of fresh dill, coarsely chopped

Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the matzoh meal with the salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, add ½ cup of the broth, and purée until smooth. Add the oil and blend again.
  3. Mix the tofu mixture with the matzoh meal, making sure that everything is moist. Grate half of the carrot into the mixture and mix until it’s well distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight. You can’t skip this step; it’s important in making sure that the matzoh balls will not fall apart when boiled.
  4. When you are ready to form the balls, fill a large stockpot with enough water to fit all the matzoh balls with minimal touching. Salt the water generously, cover, and bring to a low boil.
  5. Set out a cutting board upon which to line up the formed matzoh balls, and cover it with parchment paper, if you have any, to prevent sticking. Also have handy a wet rag to wipe your hands on between forming each matzoh ball.
  6. Remove the matzoh mixture from the fridge. Form into tightly packed, walnut-size balls and place on the prepared cutting board. When all the balls are prepared, drop carefully into the boiling water, one or two at a time, with a spatula or slotted spoon. It should be just above a simmer, not a roaring boil, or the balls will fall apart. Take your time and be careful not to plop one on top of another; they need to remain separate. When all the balls are in the water, cover the pot and DO NOT LIFT LID FOR 40 MINUTES! Sorry for the caps, just had to stress it. When the 40 minutes are up, you can remove the lid. The matzoh balls will have floated to the top and will drop back down when lid is lifted. This is fun to watch.
  7. Now they are ready to serve; however, to make them even lighter, you can turn off the heat, cover the pot again, and let them sit in the water for another hour or so. This way they absorb more water and expand a bit more.
  8. Prepare the remaining 8 cups of broth by placing it in a separate pot. Grate the other half of the carrot into the broth, along with adding a healthy handful of fresh dill. Bring to a low boil, and when it’s just heated, you’re ready to prepare the bowls.
  9. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the matzoh balls from their pot and place two or three in each bowl. Ladle the broth over the matzoh balls, so that they’re covered only about halfway. You can garnish with some more fresh dill, or parsley. Serve to whomever you love.
  10. If you are not serving the soup right away, you can refrigerate the matzoh balls overnight, and boil them when ready to prepare the soup. Some people even freeze leftovers, but I never have as there’ve never been leftovers.

Kitchen Tips

Notes from the Test Kitchen

  1. Isa Chandra Moskowitz suggests making vegetable broth from scratch. We heartily agree; check out The Weiser Kitchen’s Roasted Vegetable Stock. You can also use high-quality store-bought vegetable broth.

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