This isn’t a “my brother can beat up your brother” type of argument. This is not me playing family favorites. This is a fact:
My mom makes the best Matzo Ball soup in the world.
And don’t feel bad. I know plenty of you who have a mom with a “best in the world” creation. No one messes with Nancy’s chili. There isn’t anything better than Mumma K’s brownies. But when it comes to Matzo Ball soup, Susan Silver takes the prize.
For years I’ve been making matzo ball soup hoping to replicate the flavor and texture I’m used to. I hate to admit it, but despite the homemade chicken stock I have always used, my matzo balls came from the box mix. They’ve always done the trick but it’s like pretending the “add water, mix, and cook” pancakes are as good as scratch made. So this time I decided to go all the way.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I think I have finally mastered my chicken stock. This batch was full of flavor, light in color, and perfectly seasoned. Pairing that with the homemade matzo balls made from matzo meal, baking powder, seltzer, eggs, and the schmaltz made this matzo ball soup the best I’ve ever made. What the hell is schmaltz? You know that chicken fat that settles on top of your stock as it sits in the fridge. Yep…Schmaltz!
And two subtleties in preparation and serving really made this version stand out. I have always cooked my matzo balls in the chicken stock despite recipes, blogs, and tv shows cooking the balls in salt water. I always figured I’d get more flavor from the stock than I would water. But with all the flavor coming from the ingredients, the chicken stock was probably just overpowering. So now, I’m sticking with salt water. The other slight change; a bit of fresh arugula. I’ve always reached immediately for the pepper when being served matzo ball soup. There is something about the fresh cracked pepper that adds a great pop to the soup. And since arugula is peppery, I figured why not. This too was a really nice addition.
I still can’t claim to have reached the pinnacle of matzo ball soup creation. But I’m sure my mom would be thrilled that my version turned out so well. And even more thrilled that it was this soup that we shared while catching up with a great friend!
So what is your mom’s cooking claim to fame?