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Now reading Katz’s Delicatessen’s Matzo Ball Soup

Katz’s Delicatessen’s Matzo Ball Soup

Fluffy dumplings the size of baseballs and a grandmother-tested method make for the most delicious and massive matzo ball soup possible.

We start the soup at Katz’s by roasting chickens; we pick off the meat and use it for our chicken salad and use what remains in our chicken broth. The same broth is used for the matzo ball soup and the chicken noodle soup.

Matzo balls are pretty straightforward: you take a shit ton of eggs, beat them with some matzo meal, and let it sit. Add some seltzer to fluff it up, or you can add some baking powder. They’re really a way to take something that tastes like cardboard—matzo is the worst—and make it taste good. Mix some matzo with some eggs and fat, and you’re good to go. It’s really not
that complicated.

The soup here at Katz’s is actually the product of dueling grandmothers: the Katz family had a contest to see which grandma had the best recipe. You’re eating the winning grandma’s soup today. I’m the fifth generation now. My grandfather was partners with the original Katz family. I grew up here in this business, and I know how many New Yorkers and people all over the country have a strong connection to this place.

Matzo Ball Soup

Makes 6 Servings
  • 1 leftover carcass from a roast chicken, broken in half, or 1 1/2 lbs leftover cooked chicken bones and scraps
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • + kosher salt
  • + Matzo Balls, warmed
  • + chopped dill, for garnish

Matzo Balls

  • 1 1/2 C matzo meal
  • 3 T seltzer
  • 2 T finely chopped dill
  • 1 1/2 T schmaltz
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 large eggs

Preparation

Make the Matzo Balls

Matzo Balls
  • 1 1/2 C matzo meal
  • 3 T seltzer
  • 2 T finely chopped dill
  • 1 1/2 T schmaltz
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 large eggs
  1. In a large bowl, beat together all of
    the ingredients until thoroughly combined; the mixture will be loose at first but will thicken upon resting. Cover and hold in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted
    water to a boil over high heat.

  3. Lightly wet your hands, then roll the batter into 6 balls. Drop the balls into the boiling water. Once they begin to float, after 1 minute, gently stir and continue to boil until they swell to the size of softballs, about 15 minutes more. Carefully remove the matzo balls
    with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving bowl if eating right away. If storing for later, transfer the matzo balls to a container and cover with water. Matzo balls will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make the Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
  • 1 leftover carcass from a roast chicken, broken in half, or 1 1/2 lbs leftover cooked chicken bones and scraps
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • + kosher salt
  • + Matzo Balls, warmed
  • + chopped dill, for garnish
  1. Combine the chicken carcass, onion,
    half the celery, and half the carrots in
    a large pot. Cover with water, about 8
    cups, and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any impurities from the surface around every 5 minutes.

  2. As soon as the liquid starts boiling,
    reduce the heat to maintain a gentle
    simmer and continue cooking until the broth is light brown and slightly reduced, about 2 hours.

  3. Using tongs, lift the chicken bones from the broth and discard. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the remaining celery and carrots and cook until the vegetables are tender, 8–10 minutes.

  4. Divide the Matzo Balls among 6 serving bowls and ladle the broth and vegetables over the top. Garnish
    with dill and serve immediately.