NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 26, 2014

Classic soup made fit for a weeknight dinner

A classic matzo ball soup often has few ingredients beyond a delicious broth and a deliciously large and tender matzo ball. But we wanted to turn this staple of Passover into a full and satisfying meal.

To do this, we added a careful selection of vegetables — enough to flavor the broth and provide substance, yet not compete with the matzo balls — and a small amount of chicken. The result was a rich soup that keeps its identity, but also fills you up.

SPRING MATZO BALL SOUP

Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active)

Servings: 6

For the matzo balls:

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons club soda or seltzer water

1/2 cup matzo meal

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 scallion, thinly sliced

For the soup:

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas

1 cup shredded cooked chicken

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

To make the matzo balls, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the oil, club soda, matzo meal, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, parsley and scallion. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the matzo is chilled, in a large pot over medium-high, heat the oil for the soup. Add the onion, leek and garlic. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add the oregano and chicken broth, and bring to a boil.

Using wet hands, or a cookie scoop, drop quarter-sized balls of the chilled matzo mixture into the soup. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the carrots, snow peas and chicken, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in the dill and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories; 80 calories from fat (36 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 80 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 14 g protein; 300 mg sodium.

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