Everyone is sick, myself included.
And so, inspired partly by my friends Abby (who bravely roasted a chicken for the first time) and Jacob (who gifted me two quarts of delicious homemade chicken stock) I decided to make homemade hearty chicken matzoh ball soup from scratch.
(This would be particularly useful if I was sick-of-the-nose-persuasion, as opposed to sick-of-the-tummy-persuasion. Oh well.)
It was accidental, really. (The soup, not the sickness. Ahem. Not that being sick was on purpose. It sucks. Oh shut up, you know what I mean.) On Sunday I picked up the same BOGO roasting chicken deal Abby did, so – you guessed it – I roasted a chicken. Not very exciting. I stripped the meat, divided it into dark and light (I don’t eat dark) and then looked at the hideous, gnarly carcass and thought hmmmm…I think I can just throw that into a stock pot, right? Right. So instead of using the ridiculously amazing chicken stock Jacob had just dropped off, I decided to try to make some
on my own on a whim.
The stock pot was too large, so I used too much water. I am impatient, so I only let it simmer for three hours. I also didn’t add enough kosher salt, but I corrected that in the actual soup. I added celery and carrot tops and some onion scraps to the stock while it simmered. Nothing revolutionary there, and plenty of room for improvement next time. Then I made matzoh balls.
I’ve never actually made matzoh balls all the way from scratch. In college (which I think is the last time I made matzoh ball soup [!!]) I used a mix. But besides not eating any processed foods these days, I’m also much more interested in having complete control over my ingredients and portion size. I was surprised at how easy matzoh balls are (matzoh meal + egg, basically), so not only did it really make me wonder who on earth a processed mix was for anyway (besides college students), but I also got to have a little fun with seasoning my own matzoh balls. And I also used my KitchenAid mixer, because….well, because I can, dammit.
I added parsley, a bit of kosher salt and cracked pepper. I also made them smaller than called for (see portion control, above). I totally misjudged the timing, so instead of cooking them in the soup itself (which wasn’t even soup at this point, it was still simmering stock) I cooked them separately and added them later. Another adjustment to be rectified next time.
At the end of the three hours, I strained out the bones and bits and realized I had made a helluva lot of stock. Waaaaaaaaay too much for the soup, in fact. With help, I divided it and set one half aside to be frozen for future use. The other half went back into the stock pot with sauteed carrots, onions and celery, parsley, cilantro, chives, kosher salt, cracked pepper and celery root. Oh, and all the nice shredded white meat chicken and matzoh balls.
I was very concerned that the broth was too watery, but popular opinion proved otherwise. Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about making chicken stock, especially compared to expert friends who provide home delivery. Good thing there’s another roasting chicken still in the fridge.
(Don’t you love our new Fiestaware?! Thanks, mom!)
Nutrition information for one serving soup, extremely approximate*: 145 calories, 4.2 grams fat, 1.8 grams saturated fat, 88.9mg cholesterol, 580.1mg sodium, 17.9 grams carbohydrates, 2.3 grams fiber, 3.9 grams sugar, 9.2 grams protein.
*I honestly made so much soup I’m not entirely sure how to realistically estimate how many servings there are. This is based on twelve, which I think is accurate for the schtuff but less so for things like the sodium in the broth since it wasn’t all used in this batch. Sigh. Not an exact science.