It’s the time of the year when Passover products are in the store. Many Passover products are gluten free and are great to stock up during this time of year. You will see many products that state they are “Non-gebrokts”. That does not mean gluten free, but means wheat free. So if you are Celiac, like myself, it’s still best to read the label.
Each year, I usually buy a box or two of Streit’s matzo ball mix and their soup and matzo ball mix. Years ago, before this became so mass marketed, I would buy them in bulk and horde them and not want to make them for fear of running out.
The soup mix itself is basic. I won’t lie. BUT, in the off chance you don’t want to make your own chicken soup for lack of time or energy, this works in a pinch. Because it is basic, I like to add a few extra steps/ingredients to help make it taste more like homemade soup then soup from box.
Disregard the steps to make the soup according to the box directions. What I do is use 2 3/4 quarts water (they call for 2 1/2 quarts) and whisk the soup mix into the cold water (they have you boil the water first, then add the dry mix). In my soup mix, I add carrots. LOTS of peeled chopped carrots. As a kid, I always loved my grandmother’s matzo ball soup mix. One of my favorite parts of the soup was the carrots in the soup. So when I make this soup, I add lots of carrots.
And then for additional flavor and color, I add a whole yellow onion. Not peeled, but rinse off the outer skin. The outer skin will help give it flavor and definitely some golden color.
From there, I bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes adding some cracked pepper as well. The simmering will help develop the flavors from the carrots and the onion. You can also add celery or parsnip, too. Why not?! This is the time to make the dry mix of the matza balls since that has to sit for a while, too.
To that mix, the only addition I add is some shallot salt. The mix overall is salty, so I don’t go overboard. If you want to avoid the salt, add a bit of onion powder and garlic powder. And if you have schmaltz, use that instead of the cooking oil. Yum!!
Once the soup has simmered for 45, follow the instructions for making the matzo balls. It calls to boil them for 30 minutes, but I find 20 is enough.
The matzo balls are more floaters then sinkers…but they aren’t super fluffy. What’s your preference?!