Mexican Matzo Ball Soup with Chipotle and Lime
- March 17, 2023
- 0 / 5
For a different take on Passover this year, try Mexican Matzo Ball Soup with Chipotle and Lime. It looks fairly traditional, but it’s got some extra zing, flavor and texture from cilantro, chipotle pepper, limes and avocado. Every mouthful will make you say “ahhhhh”!
The matzo balls are soft and fluffy but with enough density that they don’t fall apart. Perfect, if you ask me…
Mexico’s Jewish history dates back to the early 1500’s though the majority of the Jewish community immigrated there much later (in the 19th and early 20th centuries). Today, Mexico is home to about 50,000 Jews, the majority of whom live in Mexico City. When it comes to food, Jewish and Mexican flavors meld beautifully in the kitchen!
Begin the soup by making the broth. Combine the chicken, vegetables, and aromatics in a large stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the chicken is very tender and is falling off the bones. This typically takes about 90 minutes. Strain the broth into another pot and transfer the chicken and vegetables to a cutting board and let it cool to the touch.
While the soup is simmering, make the matzo balls. Mix together the eggs, oil, salt, matzo meal and parsley (if you are using it) and seltzer (aka club soda) together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Scoop out balls of batter and roll into a one-inch ball. Drop the balls into boiling salted water and simmer until the balls are puffed and tender. If you cut one in half, the color should be uniformly pale throughout. If it’s not, throw the cut ball back in the water and continue boiling another 5 minutes. Use the same cut matzo ball to test it again…no sense ruining more than one matzo ball!
While the matzo balls are simmering, strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the onions, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, chili and cilantro. Discard those.
Use your fingers to remove all the chicken fro the bones and roughly chop the chicken. Return a portion of the chicken to the pot. I found that there was too much chicken for my liking if I added it all back. You can make a chicken salad from the unused chicken, so nothing goes to waste! Chop the carrots, parsnips and celery into bite-size pieces and return to the pot.
To serve the soup, place a few matzo balls in a bowl and ladle the soup over top. Serve hot with lime wedges, white onion, cilantro leaves and avocado on top.
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Mexican Matzo Ball Soup with Chipotle and Lime
Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours & 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
- 1 parsnip, peeled and halved crosswise
- 2 stalks celery, halved crosswise
- 1 large white onion, peeled, and halved through the root
- 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), end trimmed, halved through the root, and rinsed
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 dried chipotle chili, split lengthwise and seeds removed, or 1 tsp chipotle chili flakes
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, stems okay
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley, optional
- 2 tbsp seltzer water
- For serving: Lots of lime wedges, finely chopped white onion, fresh cilantro leaves, and finely chopped avocado
Place the chicken, carrots, parsnip, celery, onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, chipotle chili, and cilantro in a large soup pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a low boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer, partially covered, skimming off any foam that accumulates, until the chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, about 1 & 1/2 hours. The soup should roll along at a very gentle simmer. If it starts to bubble too vigorously, turn the heat down.
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot, transfer to a cutting board and let cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, make the matzah balls. Mix together the eggs, vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt, matzo meal, parsley, if using, and seltzer in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Return the strained broth back to the pot. Discard the onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, chili, and cilantro. Chop the carrots, parsnip, and celery into bite-size pieces and return to the pot.
Using your fingers, remove all the meat from the bones and roughly chop and return to the pot. Discard the chicken skin and bones. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-low and keep at a simmer.
Moisten your hands with water; scoop out a rounded tablespoon of matzo ball batter and roll it into a 1-inch ball. Drop into water, and repeat with remaining batter. Cover the pot, and simmer until matzo balls are tender and puffed, 30-35 minutes. (If you cut one in half, it should be uniformly pale in color throughout.)
To serve, place a few matzo balls into serving bowls and ladle soup over top. Serve hot with lime wedges, white onion, cilantro leaves, and avocado on the side for topping.
Recipe by Food52
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