March 27, 2013

Traditional matzo ball soup gets a lighter touch

By SARA MOULTON The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Spring vegetable soup with low-fat, high-flavor matzo balls.

The Associated Press

 

SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP WITH LOW-FAT, HIGH-FLAVOR MATZO BALLS

Start to finish: 2 hours (45 minutes active)

Servings: Eight

FOR THE MATZO BALLS:

3/4 cup matzo meal

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 large egg whites, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

FOR THE SOUP:

1/2 pound shelled fresh fava beans or shelled fresh lima beans (or 12/3 cups defrosted frozen), or a combination

3 medium leeks

1/2 pound asparagus (about 1/2 bunch), tough ends discarded (peel the stalks if thicker than 1/3 inch)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 pound small white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

10 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup shelled fresh or defrosted frozen green peas

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Chopped fresh dill, to garnish

To make the matzo balls, in a large bowl stir together the matzo meal, salt and baking powder. Add the egg whites, vegetable oil and chicken broth, then stir until well combined. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

While the matzo mixture cools, prepare the vegetables. If using fava beans, in a large saucepan bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shelled fava beans and blanch for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, gently peel the skins from the beans. If using lima beans, this step can be skipped.

Trim off and discard the green parts of the leeks, leaving about 5 inches. Cut the white part in half lengthwise, then slice into 1-inch pieces (about 31/2 cups). Rinse them well and pat them dry. Cut the asparagus crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until they have softened. Add the asparagus and mushrooms to the leek mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes more, or until almost tender. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Return the saucepan to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Shape the chilled matzo batter into 16 balls and add them to the broth. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the matzo balls are tender.

Add the vegetable mixture to the chicken stock and matzo balls, along with the fava beans and peas and simmer until heated through. If using defrosted frozen lima beans, add them first to the soup and let them simmer for 5 minutes or until tender, then add the other vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh dill.

 

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