OU PASSOVER Special: Norene’s Chicken Soup for the Bowl

14 Mar 2012

By Norene Gilletz

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She divides her time between work as a food writer, culinary consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer and editor. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at www.gourmania.com or email her at {encode=”mailto:goodfood@gourmania.com” title=”goodfood@gourmania.com”}.

For me, Passover isn’t complete without homemade chicken soup! I love it best with a couple of plump, matzo balls, preferably “floaters” – or homemade noodles. When I’m in a hurry, I serve it with quick soup dumplings as they’re ready in moments.

My mother, Belle Rykiss (z”l), always made matzo balls that were light and “puchedich.” During the year, she added baking powder to the mixture to make them as light as a cloud. (You can omit it during Passover, or use Passover baking powder.) Mom could always tell the difference between matzo balls made from a mix and those that were homemade. You could never fool my mother! Enjoy…

Source: The NEW Food Processor Bible (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup matzo meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Passover baking powder

• Process all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the Steel Blade just until smooth, about 10 seconds. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour, or in freezer for 20 minutes, until thickened.

• Shape into small balls. Drop into boiling salted water in a large pot and cook, partially covered, for about 40 minutes.

• Yield: about 14 to 16. May be frozen in soup.

• Chef’s Tip: Freeze uncooked matzo ball mixture in ice cube trays. When needed, drop frozen matzo balls in boiling water and cook partly covered for 35 to 40 minutes. Kids love them in different shapes!

Source: Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz

Club soda is the secret ingredient to make these knaidlach (matzo balls) light and fluffy! This recipe can be doubled easily, but be sure to use a large pot and don’t peek during cooking!

1/2 cup matzo meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
2 Tbsp club soda (or ginger ale)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp minced dill
2 1/2 quarts salted water

• Combine matzo meal, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Add egg, egg whites, club soda, oil and dill; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

• In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Wet your hands and shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Drop matzo balls into boiling water, cover tightly and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to chicken soup or vegetable broth.

• Yield: 12 matzo balls. These may be frozen in soup, or on a cookie sheet and then transferred to a plastic freezer bag. Reheat them right in the soup!

Source: Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz

These noodles are based on my recipe for Passover blintzes and are non-gebrochts.

1 /2 cup potato starch
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg plus 2 egg whites (or 2 eggs)
1 cup water
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp. freshly minced dill or basil)

• Combine potato starch, salt, egg and egg whites. Whisk together until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in water, oil and basil; mix until smooth. (Can be done in a food processor.) Let batter stand for 15 minutes. Batter can be refrigerated up to 24 hours in advance.

• Use a crepe pan or nonstick skillet. Grease pan lightly for the first blintz, or spray pan with nonstick spray. Stir mixture well. Pour about 3 tbsp. batter (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) into the skillet. Cook about 1 minute, until edges are brown and top surface is dry. Flip the blintz onto its second side and cook 10 seconds longer. Turn out onto a clean tea towel.

• Repeat with remaining batter, stirring occasionally to prevent potato starch from settling to the bottom. If blintzes begin to stick to the pan, grease pan with a little oil on a paper towel.

• Roll each pancake up like a jelly roll and cut into 1/4-inch strips. At serving time, add to hot chicken soup.

• Yield: 8 to 10 servings. Reheats and/or freezes well.

Source: The New Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)

These dumplings are an easy alternative to matzo balls. Kids love these!

2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup matzo meal

• Insert steel blade in food processor bowl. Process all ingredients until smooth, about 10 seconds.

• Drop mixture from a teaspoon into simmering chicken soup. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

• Makes 8 to 10 servings. Do not freeze.

Source: Norene’s Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap)

You don’t have to be Jewish to love chicken soup – it’s the ultimate comfort food! A steaming bowl of golden broth is sure to cure colds or flu. Chicken soup is often called “Jewish penicillin.” Some cooks like to add turnip or celery root to the broth.

3 1/2 to 4 lb chicken, cut up
10 cups cold water (approximately)
4 tsp salt
2 medium onions
4 to 6 medium carrots
3 to 4 stalks celery
1 parsnip (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh dill
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• Trim excess fat from chicken, but don’t remove the skin as it adds flavour. Place chicken in a large soup pot. Add water, covering chicken completely by at least 1 inch. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove scum from the surface of the soup.

• Add onions, carrots, celery and parsnip to pot. Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for 1 1/4 hours. Add garlic and dill and simmer 15 minutes longer. Adjust salt to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper. Remove pot from heat and cool completely.

• Strain soup, reserving carrots and chicken. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, discard hardened layer of fat from surface of soup. Remove skin from chicken and dice meat for soup. Reheat soup with diced chicken and carrots.
• Serve with Matzo Balls, Herbed Passover Noodles or Quick Soup Dumplings.

• Makes 8 generous servings. Freezes and reheats well.

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