Matzo-Ball Soup with Leeks
Chicken leeks, and carrots swim in a fragrant broth, but the star is the comforting matzo ball. Seltzer and baking powder are the keys to making airy spheres; their richness comes from the chicken fat, or, as Jewish bubbes call it, schmaltz.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 8
Photography: Kate Mathis
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2016
- 1 1/2 cups matzo meal
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chicken fat (schmaltz) or Clarified Butter, melted
- 3/4 cup seltzer or club soda
- 10 cups Essential Chicken Stock
- 6 whole chicken legs, skins removed
- 12 baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 6 strips Meyer-lemon peel
- 2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds and thoroughly washed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
Whisk together matzo meal, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and baking powder. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs; whisk in chicken fat, matzo mixture, and seltzer until thoroughly blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. With lightly dampened hands, form heaping 1/3 cupfuls of batter into 8 balls. Gently drop balls, one at a time, into boiling water. When they all float, cover pot. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; cook 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, gently transfer matzo balls to a tray lined with a clean kitchen towel. Let cool 15 minutes, then cover tray tightly with plastic wrap. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 1 day.
In a pot, combine stock, chicken, carrots, lemon peel, and 4 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cook, partially covered, until chicken is just cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; let cool 10 minutes. Add leeks and simmer until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pull chicken from bones; discard bones. Return chicken to pot and add matzo balls; bring to a simmer and heat through. Stir in dill; serve.