Stuffed Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken and Apples


For the matzo ball dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups matzo meal

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground cubeb pepper (available from or black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon nigella or black-sesame seeds

  • 1 large egg

For the filling:

  • 1/4 pound ground chicken

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground fennel

  • 1/2 teaspoon orgeat (almond syrup), or 1 drop almond extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the broth:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil or rendered chicken schmaltz

  • 2 Crimson Crisp apples, cut into 1-inch cubes or matchsticks

  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)

  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, for serving


Make the matzo balls:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the matzo meal, oil, salt, & pepper. Add 1 cup boiling water and mix well to incorporate. Add the egg, incorporating quickly to avoid partially cooking it. Using wet hands, form the dough into 12 equal-size disks and reserve.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, fennel, orgeat or almond extract, salt, and pepper. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 12 equal-size balls. Place a ball of filling on a matzo-meal disk and pinch and roll the edges together to form a ball. Repeat with remaining filling and matzo-meal disks.

Cook the matzo balls:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the stuffed matzo balls, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until matzo balls are cooked through and float, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook the apples:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add most of the apples, reserving some for garnish, and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Calvados and stir, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan, until most of the Calvados has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove apples from pan and reserve.

Assemble the soup:

  1. In a pot, heat the broth until just simmering. Divide the apples among four soup bowls, then ladle broth and matzo balls into each bowl. Garnish with remaining fresh apple.

| Adapted from Epicurious