#QuarantineCooking: Bubbe Hilda Bearman’s Matzo Ball Soup
APRIL 6, 2020 – Welcome to our delicious, sporadic, new pandemic blog feature that we’re calling #QuarantineCooking!
In times of stress and uncertainty, a lot of us turn to creative and comforting distractions. We’re not just Realtors, you know. We’re also gardeners, painters, photographers – and damn good home cooks.
Some of us (looking at you, Cameron Platt) have been blowing up personal Instagram accounts and Facebook stories with some seriously mouthwatering homemade food porn.
So, while we all shelter-in-place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Abio will offer occasional recipes from our homes to yours to help you beat your boredom, feed your munchies, raid your pandemic pantry, and soothe your soul.
And what better way to kick off #QuarantineCooking than with one of the most comforting dishes of all…
Bubbe Hilda Bearman’s Jewish Penicillin: Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
This #QuarantineCooking recipe comes to us from Abio Properties Realtor Vikki Bearman, who says it’s never been written down before now. “Our family has it embedded in our memories!”
We are honored to share it here in (virtual) print first. Pretty perfect timing, since Passover begins at sundown April 8.
Vikki prefers all organic ingredients. This works great in a crockpot and instant pot. It’s so easy to make!
For the Chicken Soup
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- 1 large yellow onion, cut in quarters
- 1-2 celery stalks with tops, cut in large chunks
- handful of carrots, cut in large chunks
- 1 fennel bulb with stalks, cut in half
- 1-2 tablespoons of Chicken Better Than Bullion (it’s already salty, so you might want to ease up on any kosher salt you add later.)
- handful of fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Matzo Balls
Vikki says, “I cheat (don’t tell Bubbe!) and buy the mix. The box usually makes 2 batches. Make both because everyone will want more!”
- 1 package of matzo ball mix
- sparkling water
- handful of chopped fresh parsley
Bubbe’s Chicken Soup
- Cut the chicken in half and add both halves and the rest of the ingredients into a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and then set to simmer for at least 2-3 hours.
- Let cool.
- Remove the chicken, debone, and save the meat to add back to the soup later. Save the carrots, too. Remove and discard the rest of the veggies.
- Strain the broth and freeze or refrigerate it long enough for the fat to congeal on top. This is a good time to start mixing your matzo balls.
- Before serving, use a slotted spoon and skim off as much of the chicken fat as possible. (The Yiddish word for the fat is schmaltz. Scoop it into a jar and save it in the freezer to add rich flavor to future recipes. Some cooks use schmaltz to help bind matzo balls if making from scratch.)
- While you are heating the soup to serve, add the chicken meat, carrots, matzo balls (or noodles or rice if you aren’t observing Passover). Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Follow the directions on the package but…
- Bubbe’s Secret: Add a cap full or two of sparkling water to the mix. This makes the matzo balls light and fluffy instead of matzo cannon balls!
- Add a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley for color.
- Form the balls loosely, and make smaller balls as they will expand quite a bit.
- Refrigerate the balls for at least 15 minutes so they hold their shape when they cook.
- While the balls are cooling, boil a pot of chicken soup made from bullion for extra flavor.
- Gently drop the matzo balls into the boiling broth.
- Cook for 30 minutes. No peeking. The trick is to keep the lid on for 30 minutes.
Please let us know how your recipe turns out! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your pics on social media #AbioProperties #QuarantineCooking.
Remember to join our #FeedTheFirst movement! Donate in $10 increments to help buy meals for local first responders and emergency staffs on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Abio Properties and Best Coast Burritos co-founder Alvin Shen joined forces to make this happen, and Abio pledged to match 200 burritos donated, doubling the impact!