What is more classic and comforting when fighting a cold or flu than a nice hot bowl of chicken soup? And for those in the know, matzo ball soup beats any other kind. Traditionally served at Passover, matzo ball soup pairs tender dumplings with chicken broth—but it’s a shame to only enjoy this delight during that holiday. A good bowl of chicken soup envelops us in memories of warmth, love and family. You probably already have a favorite chicken soup recipe, whether rich, complex and hardy or simple and delicate. Consider making matcha ball soup and adding a fun green tea variation on the matzo ball to your next pot of soup; you’ll not only enhance the flavor, but you’ll get more illness-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants from the potent tea, too. Just in case you don’t already have a family favorite, you’ll find our version of the classic here.
Note: If chicken noodle soup is your go-to cure-all, sift matcha in with your flour when you make fresh pasta. Matcha with a little citrus zest and ground ginger is also fabulous in homemade gnocchi, another dumpling that would be a welcome addition to your favorite chicken soup.
Classic Chicken Soup:
- 1 4- to 5-pound chicken
- 4 stalks celery, with leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled 3 sprigs fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried dill)
- 4 sprigs Italian parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Place chicken in a stockpot and add cold water to cover by 2 or 3 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
2 Turn down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, periodically skimming off the impurities that rise to the surface.
3 After 10 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients through the bay leaves and turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, roughly another 45 minutes.
4 Remove the chicken and allow to cool slightly, just enough so you can handle it comfortably. Remove the chicken from the bones, discarding the skin, and return the bones to the pot. Set aside the chicken for another use, or you can add it back to your soup at the end.
5 Simmer the broth for another hour, then strain through a fine sieve, setting aside some of the carrots for garnish; discard the remaining solids.
6 Let cool, then refrigerate until the fat rises to the top and solidifies. Remove the fat, reserving some for the matcha balls.
- 1 cup matzo meal (found in the kosher section of the grocery store)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon plus
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup seltzer
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill or parsley for garnish
1 In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with the chicken fat or oil, 1 tablespoon salt, lemon zest and matcha powder.
2 Add matzo meal and mix well.
3 Add seltzer and mix again until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill at least 1 hour until firm.
4 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon of reserved salt. Turn down to a simmer.
5 Remove matcha ball mixture from the refrigerator. Moisten your hands and roll balls of matcha dough to about the size of a walnut. Drop the balls one at a time into the simmering salted water.
6 Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 45 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted into a matcha ball should slide easily into the center.
7 To serve, add matcha balls to your favorite chicken broth or soup.
Make-Ahead Tip: If you won’t be serving the matcha balls immediately, remove them from the cooking water and store, covered, in a single layer in a container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, heat the soup, matcha balls, reserved carrots and some freshly chopped dill over medium-low heat until the matcha balls are heated through. Optionally, you can add back some of the chicken that was set aside when the soup was made.
Vegetarian For a vegetarian version, use a vegetable stock and replace the chicken fat in the matcha balls with vegetable oil. Use lots of herbs and root vegetables for your vegetable stock, and add a cheese rind to give richness to your soup base. Asian Fusion You might also consider a soup based on double-strength genmaicha seasoned with a touch of soy sauce, vinegar, and your choice of vegetables