Growing up in NJ, I'm proud to say that we are the Diner Capital of the World. Don't take my word for it, apparently we are according to 50states.com, even before Guy Fieri started that Diners and Drive-In's show. To me, diners and Matzo Ball Soup go hand in hand...that and greasy cheeseburgers and fries at 3am back in my mid-twenties, but I digress...There's nothing better than going to a diner and ordering Matzo Ball Soup and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich on a rainy day. It was always one of those soups I never even tried to make at home. Usually, when ordering out, it is made with a clear broth and the matzo balls. Then one day, a few years ago, I found the mix in my local grocery store. I'm sure it was there the entire time, but since I don't practice the Jewish religion, I rarely go down that particular isle. I figured I could do it myself, how hard could it be right? It was SO easy. I just prepare the mix with the eggs and oil but I also add in a little fresh rosemary and Pecorino Romano cheese as well as some carrots and celery to the broth. It's delicious and filling and goes well by itself or accompanied with a salad or sandwich. I tend to make the Matzo balls a little smaller as they do "plump up" and it's just easier to eat.Italian Matzo Ball Soup
1 tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Stalk Celery, finely diced
1 Carrot, peeled and finely diced
6 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
4 c. Water
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
Prepared Matzo Balls
In a large saucepan, heat oil and add celery and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes, them add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 30 minutes. Add the prepared Matzo balls and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 10 cups.
For the Matzo Balls
1 Package Matzo Ball Mix (I use Manischewitz)
2 tbsp. Canola Oil
1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
Mix all ingredients together then refrigerate for 15 minutes. Form approximately 2 dz. 1" balls.