November 18, 2013

Easy Loaded Matzoh Ball Soup - Cold Season Ammunition

This week I made this easy loaded matzoh ball soup recipe as a great way to celebrate Hanukkah or fight a cold or flu.  This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Kleenex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #KleenexTarget  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

So apparently cold and flu season is in full swing.  I know because my household has already fallen victim to the less severe yet utterly annoying lingering cold.    What is more frustrating that laying down to go to sleep and only being able to breathe out of one nostril?  The only thing I can think of is watching your child struggle with a hopelessly runny nose.  The upside to this time of year is that it calls for a little concoction I call easy loaded matzoh ball soup.

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Easy because I don't slave in the kitchen all day to make it.  And loaded because it is absolutely loaded with lots of tender vegetables and poured over a bed of kale for extra nutrients.  Plus I think I've actually masted the art of the big fluffy matzoh ball over the last few years.  

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I am not cavalier enough to make my own chicken broth.  But I love that it's becoming pretty easy to find low sodium organic chicken broth in most stores.  To make soup for about 6 people I use 2 of these tetra-pak containers.  In keeping with tradition I use Manischewitz matzoh ball mix.  It's got a touch of salt and will save you a lot of time versus crushing matzoh up yourself.  

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The real key to amazing tasting soup is grabbing the freshest produce you can.  I admit I try to buy mostly organic food but have skimped on things like mushrooms in the past.  Which I won't do again because these were incredibly firm with very tightly close caps like I haven't seen in a grocery store before.  I used about 4 sliced mushrooms, 2 carrots and 2 zucchinis.  Like any recipe I'll share with you, I'm all about flexibility and substitution so put in whichever vegetables work for you!

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Prepare the matzoh ball mixture and allow it to cool for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.  This is super important so you can form the matzoh balls properly.  While you're doing this, I like to sauté some finely chopped onions in a touch of olive oil.  I toss the sliced carrots in while the onions are cooking and then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

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It just takes a few minutes to make the actual matzoh balls.  Wet your hands before trying to form them so the mixture does not stick to your hands.  Drop them right into the boiling soup, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.  Now, any matzoh ball instructions you'll read on a box will tell you to cook them for 20 minutes.  Which is not nearly enough.  You'll want to let them simmer for about 45 minutes.  I like to throw the zucchini in about halfway through and the mushrooms just about 5 minutes before the soup is done.  This keeps you from having varying degrees of mushy vegetables.

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When I'm ready to serve this up I throw a handful of kale in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup over it.  Because kale is tough by nature, by the time you make your way down to it you'll have tender but not mushy greens.  If you do the Hanukkah thing like we do, then you'll have a table of very impressed people who are used to the same old boring matzoh ball soup.   Personally I happen to think it's the most perfect way to battle a cold, whether you grew up with soup like this or not.

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And speaking of the lingering cold that started with me as the first victim?  It has now made its way to Kayla.  Just as I am leaving her for a quick jaunt across the country this week.  Of course.  Which means there is one little red boogery nose and Craig still left to go.  So I've stocked the fridge with turkey meatballs and loaded matzoh ball soup and the bedrooms and living room with plenty of Ultra Soft Kleenex.  So hopefully that little nose won't be hurting while I'm gone!

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Are you ready for sneezing, coughing and noses running all over?  Who is?  I picked up a 4-pack of Kleenex at Target this week and saved an extra dollar just by printing out this coupon.  Do it.  Stick it in your car and you'll be feeling smart the next time you're at Target (which is 3 times a week for me!) and you pass that aisle.  Your nose will thank you too.

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