Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Matzo Ball Soup


We made Turkey Matzo Ball soup and it was not a travesty. On the contrary, it was rich, delicious, tasting like home and a worthy of a standing meal all in itself.

It was day of me running around to doctors appointments and teaching, with David staying home with the girls, and Aaron and Jana coming over for dinner, and Mom and Dad stopping here first on their way down from Montreal. Through all that, the taste of Matzo Ball soup was grounding. It called on every sense memory I have, every memory of sitting at Oma's table, Cousin Susie's table, my brother ducking under the table to make trouble, learning how to fold the egg whites in for Pesach, the year I was finally trusted to make them on my own from scratch.

And yet, through all that Ashkenaz sense memory, the soup was Thanksgiving, too, with all the flavor of Bell's seasoning, celery, turkey and stuffing. Velvety smooth, it used the last of the leftovers before the latkes invaded. Awesome.

Our Officially Assimilated Matzo Ball Soup put to use the traditionally doctored Manischewitz matzo ball mix, just like Grandma used to make.

I'm serious. My grandma doctors the mix, too. Unless you've got a spare 24-48 hrs lying around or it's Pesach, it's the best way to go. Here's what you do to make them taste fully 'homemade.'

  • Always add an extra egg beyond what the recipe calls for.
  • Substitute schmaltz or the fat from your stock in for the vegetable oil.
  • Add a good dash of nutmeg and a heavy pinch of ground ginger. You can also add a little bit of fresh chopped parsley or a tablespoon of dried, if you're feeling fancy.
  • After the mixture has rested in the fridge, shape with wet hands into 1 inch balls (they will expand when they cook). Handle them gently for lighter dumplings, and more firmly for denser balls.
  • Never, EVER cook them in the soup. Cook them in plain boiling water, covered firmly, for 20 minutes. Drain, allow to slightly cool, and keep them covered in your refrigerator until needed.


So, here tis - the soup to make for Chanukah when it arrives a week after Thanksgiving. Share and enjoy.

Turkey Matzo Ball Soup


2 quarts turkey stock
1 batch of matzo balls, made earlier Notes: follow directions on box, with suggestions above
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery, including leaves
1 cup leftover stuffing
2 cups chopped cooked turkey.
salt
pepper
1 T Bell's Seasoning

1. Using some of your leftover latke oil, saute your onion and celery until soft. Add the stuffing and seasoning. Stir until thoroughly combined.

2. Add in 1 cup turkey stock. Using a stick blender, blend all until smooth.

3. Add remainder of stock.Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Add chopped turkey and matzo balls. Cover and bring to temperature. Serve when the children are holding still and all are ready to eat. Share, enjoy and sigh in happiness.

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