So Cold for Matzo!

It’s official, the bitterness of the winter’s cold has struck Cincinnati and it most certainly has a mean streak.  I drove to work today (about 25 minutes) and my hands were still freezing by the time I entered the parking lot. The only remedy for this hateful weather which never fails to turn people into their dark alter-ego is one thing…make that two; a fireplace and warm chicken matzo ball soup.

I decided to make this hot commodity when I was strolling through my friendly-neighborhood-Kroger with one thought on my mind – How am I going to maintain this New Years Resolution (tone up for my wedding and eat less junk in a world full of distractions)?  This soup is a happy medium for anyone who is looking for a wholesome meal with no strings (or in this case fat) attached.

2 boxes Matzo Ball Mix + soup mix
Ingredients for matzo balls (4 eggs, 8 tsp vegetable oil)
1 small whole chicken (preferably organic or Amish)
6 stalks celery
6 medium carrot sticks
1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 medium onion

1. Prepare chicken by washing it with cold water and removing the insides/gizzards
2. Cut an onion in fourths and drop it in a large pot along with the chicken
3. Fill up the pot with cold water until it reaches just above the chicken, cook on medium heat for 40 minutes or until the meat is tender and easy to remove from the bone
4. While the chicken is cooking, wash and chop the vegetables in bite-sized pieces, layer the celery on the bottom of a bowl and the carrots on top (the carrots will be placed in the soup prior to the celery because they take longer to cook)
5. Use a large serving fork and spoon to lift the chicken out of the pot and place it on a baking pan to cool off for ten minutes (some natural wind from your lungs should help the process move along efficiently)
6. While the chicken is cooling, follow the instructions on the back of the box to make the matzo balls
7. Pull off all the meat from the chicken and shred it in small pieces
8. Strain the broth into another pot to remove the onion and excess from the chicken
9. Fill the pot back up to where it would be if the chicken was still in the pot.
10. Heat the soup back to a medium heat then place 1 1/2 packets of soup mix in the broth Once it comes to a light boil, gently place the matzo balls in the broth
11. Once the matzo balls have been cooking for ten minutes, place the carrots in the soup and finally the celery.
12. Season with pepper and serve hot!

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