No Seder dinner to celebrate Passover is complete without matzo ball soup. Usually made with chicken broth amped with carrots, celery, onions and plenty of fresh dill, it sports a plump dumpling forged from matzo crumbs. Though the roots of the iconic dish remain hazy, there’s no doubt it’s now a part of the pantheon of Jewish cuisine. Dip your spoon into these seven matzo ball soups to get in the spirit of Passover 2018.
Cleo, Los Angeles, California
Chef Danny Elmaleh has Japanese and Israeli roots, which manifest themselves in his unique matzo ball soup. A couple of carby spheres sit in a duck and dashi broth inspired by kamo nanban soba. You could call it Jewish Zenicillin. Make a reservation at Cleo.
Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs, New York, New York
The satiating rendition is made using grandma’s special recipe. No, they won’t share it. Trust us, we asked. Make a reservation at Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs.
Our Fathers, Allston, Massachusetts
Hawayej, a Yemini spice blend from Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte, adds earthen tones of cumin and turmeric to this stellar soup. Its chicken broth foundation is chockablock full of roasted chicken breast, carrots, matzo balls, and sprigs of fresh dill. It’s totally understandable if you pick up the bowl to slurp up every last bit. Make a reservation at Our Fathers.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, San Francisco, California
Wanna be a baller, shot caller? Order this hearty soup sporting an impressive orb of matzo. If you’re craving more carbs, there’s more matzo on the side. Make a reservation at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen.
Mity Nice, Chicago, Illinois
This is a mighty nice matzo ball soup. They keep it simple and straightforward, but it’s satiating and super satisfying. Purists will be pleased. Make a reservation at Mity Nice.
Summer House Santa Monica, North Bethesda, Maryland
Celebrate Passover with a traditional meal featuring a marvelous matzo ball soup. It’s followed by gefilte fish and chopped liver pâté, and slow-braised beef short rib. A ridiculously rich flourless chocolate cake completes the celebrations. Make a reservation at Summer House Santa Monica.
Charlie Palmer Steak, New York, New York
This isn’t your average matzo ball soup. It’s gussied up with braised brisket, dry aged beef fat, and black salt. Not exactly how your bubbe used to make it, but you’re not going to complain. Make a reservation at Charlie Palmer Steak.
Aside from your bubbe, who makes your favorite matzo ball soup? Tell us where here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: C+N Creative (Wise Sons); Christina Slaton (Mity Nice + Summer House Santa Monica).