It’s April, and spring is in the air, but in New England, it can still feel like winter.
That’s just one reason that comfort food has been on my mind…
The other is that the world is a little haywire right now. Agreed?
And yet there’s still another: I know that if I keep bags of chocolate in the house, my waistline will expand, and I will not be happy once summer arrives.
I’ve struggled to find ways to feed myself the “comfort food” I’m craving, now that how much I can, or want to, venture out is restricted.
And that made me think of the perfect comfort food: inexpensive, easy to make, lasts for days, and fills the house with an aroma that says “comfort.”
Soups that will warm your soul
There’s something about soup. When I was a kid, my mom used to call it “a one-bowl meal.” And, if you do it right, it is just that: loaded with nutrition and taste, and needling little else to go with it except possibly a chunk of crusty bread or a salad.
Here’s the quintessential Passover soup. Passover is on April 8, right around the corner.
Since I’ll be attending a “virtual” seder this year, rather than gathering around the table with friends and family, I’m going to prepare this comfort food from my childhood — and if you’ve never tried it, I hope you will…
Matzo Ball Soup
This is a simple recipe that even a beginner can make.
1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
3 stalks celery
1 chicken breast (about ¾ lb.)
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
freshly cracked pepper
few sprigs fresh dill
3 large eggs
3 Tbsps. vegetable or canola oil
¾ c. matzo meal
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
freshly cracked pepper
3 Tbsps. water
- Mince the garlic and dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about five minutes).
- Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, 2 cups of water, some freshly cracked pepper, and 1-2 sprigs of dill to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, mix the matzo ball dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add the matzo meal, salt, baking powder and a little of the pepper. Stir until well combined. Finally, add 3 Tbsps. water and stir until smooth again. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- After the chicken soup has simmered, carefully remove the chicken breast and shred it with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed.
- Once the matzo ball mix has refrigerated and stiffened, begin to form it into small balls (the size of ping-pong balls). Drop the balls into the simmering soup as they are formed, covering the pot again after each one. Once all the matzo balls are in the soup, let them simmer for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time! Make sure the soup is simmering gently the entire time.
- Add a couple of sprigs of fresh dill before serving.
In case you’re not a fan of chicken soup, here are four other hearty, healthy, comfort-soups you can try while you’re at home.
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
- One-Pot Squash Soup
- Slow cooker chicken soup with white beans and spinach
- Chunky Beef, Cabbage, and Tomato Soup
- Golden Coconut Lentil Soup
Editor’s note: The key to successful weight loss is your passion to be healthy. But if keto and other pop-up diets are too restrictive for you, just get back to the basics: Learn how part-time health nuts are doing it by following just 7 basic fundamentals that cover ALL the bases… My favorite is #7: Indulge occasionally! For the rest, click here!