Matzo Memories

I made good on my tenuous promise to cook up some chicken soup for sick Hubby Bryan last night. Lucky for him (and me), we had some cooked chicken in the freezer, along with a partial bag of the good, thick egg noodles, and a box of broth. All I had to do was mix those components and chop up some onion, celery and carrots, and — voila! — a pot full of penicillin soup, good for what ails him. (And a good immunization for me against getting what he’s got!)

After coming across the following recipe, I wish I’d stopped and gotten a box of matzo meal. I would have tried my hand at Jewish penicillin soup, aka Matzo Ball Soup. I haven’t had chicken soup with matzo balls since my folks used to take us to the Lincoln Del (short for delicatessen) in the Twin Cities. I can still picture the interior of the restaurant with its gigantic pastry cases and the big steaming bowls of chicken broth with a big ball of dough in the middle.

The Lincoln Del (or Dels, as the case was) is no longer. My last attempt to go there was probably about 18 years ago, when DotMom and Daddon took the whole family on a cruise-DisneyWorld vacation. We were set to fly out of Minneapolis on Christmas Day, so we all went up on Christmas Eve and spent the night in a hotel near the airport. Because it was Christmas Eve, most of the restaurants were closed, but we figured that the Lincoln Del, being a Jewish delicatessen, would certainly be open.

It wasn’t. So I’ve never had matzo ball soup again. But now I can make it, thanks to another recipe from the Campbell’s Kitchen, if I can find matzo meal.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat 4 large eggs with ¼ cup olive oil until foamy. Stir in 3 tablespoons chicken broth and 1 cup matzo meal and optional seasonings: 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or parsley or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two hours.

In a large saucepan, heat 4 quarts of water to a boil. Shape the matzo batter into 1-inch balls. (The Lincoln Del used MUCH bigger matzo balls.) Drop the matzo balls into the boiling water; reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until they’re cooked through. Remove matzo balls from the pot and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 10 cups chicken broth (minus the aforementioned 3 tablespoons) to a boil. Drop the matzo balls into the broth. Reduce heat to low and cook until heated through. Serve in shallow bowls.