Thursday, April 19, 2012


Working for a Jewish agency, I have come to know a fair amount about customs, traditions, and rituals of Judaism. I even know about a dozen Hebrew words. For the previous two weeks, everyone at work has been preparing for Passover, a holiday where you are not able to eat leavened bread. A holiday where eating carbs is frowned upon? Count me in!

All this talk of Passover gave me a serious hankering for Matzo ball soup!

I had mentioned this craving to Jerry, who quickly agreed to make it for dinner. When I got home, I checked the soup pot and noticed that the matzo balls were speckled with darker colors. Assuming that this was Jerry's continued obsession with flax seeds and wheat germ, I asked "What grains did you put in the matzo balls?" He said "Those aren't grains. That's pork!"

I told this story to several of my co-workers, who said "He's obviously not Jewish."
"No, definitely not Jewish, but his balls are awesome." His matzo balls, that is. Badabump! That's a little bit of Jewish humor for you.

Still craving some more traditional matzo ball soup, I decided to make my own. I'm going to do you a mitzvah and tell you the secret to making nice, fluffy matzo balls. Add seltzer instead of water or broth to form your matzo balls. Pork is optional. Aren't I a good pretend Jew?

Sorry for the shitty picture. 

Whole Wheat Matzo Ball Soup

For Balls:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat matzo meal
2 tablespoons seltzer - helps to make the balls lighter, who likes heavy balls anyway?
1 teaspoon salt, if desired
sprinkle of garlic powder and any other preferred seasoning

For Soup:
1 -2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-size onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced into similar sized pieces
3 celery stalks, sliced into similar sized pieces
5 - 6 mushrooms, diced (optional)
4 cups chicken or veggie broth (you also have the option of adding in actual chicken)
1 tsp oregano
1 bay lead
1 handful fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, beat eggs; add oil, matzo meal and salt. Blend together. 
2. Add seltzer and mix until uniform. Cover and chill in refrigerator for about 20 minutes. 
3. In the meantime, saute your veggies in a large stock pot, starting with your garlic first and adding other ingredients as you go. Continue to add spices. 
4. Add broth to pot and bring to a boil. 
5.  Remove chilled matzo ball mixture from refrigerator. Moisten hands and form batter into matzo balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter. Reduce heat. Drop matzo balls into pot of soup. 
6. Cover tightly and simmer until thoroughly cooked, about 30-40 minutes. Enjoy soup!

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