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The Shortcut Soup I Make Every Time My Family Gets Sick

Works every time—it's the nourishment we need to feel better.

<p>Simply Recipes / Stephanie A Ganz</p>

Simply Recipes / Stephanie A Ganz

There comes a time every winter when it feels like my family of four is just trading a cold back and forth on an infinite loop. As soon as one of us feels a little better, another one starts sniffling. We’re on what feels like week one million of that very cycle right now, and it’s no fun at all. It cut into our winter break and spilled right on into the first week back to school, which my older child missed because they were coughing uncontrollably for days on end.

When things get this dire, there’s one easy, wholesome, soul-settling soup that I always make, and it never fails to make us feel a little better. Mom’s Lemony Matzo Ball Soup is a well-known entity in our house. In general, matzo ball soup is my husband’s favorite food, so he’ll play up any cough in the hopes of getting me to make some.

Fortunately, it’s a simple recipe (easy enough to make when I’m sick!) using boxed matzo ball soup mix and ingredients I keep on hand at all times.

How To Make My Lemony Matzo Ball Soup

I’m a firm believer that the best matzo ball soup comes right out of the box. They’ve already perfected the recipe, and that’s good news for us—less work! I do make a few adjustments to the standard box (I prefer Manischewitz brand) to take the “Jewish Penicillin” to an even more restorative level.

First, I prepare the matzo ball mix according to the package directions. Usually, that means mixing it with a couple of eggs and a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. While that hangs out in the fridge, I start on the broth.

I like to combine water and homemade chicken stock, plus the packet of soup powder that comes in the box. It gives me an amped-up, extra-chickeny broth that I can actually taste even when I’m congested. To that, I add a two-inch knob of peeled, fresh ginger. The aromatic ginger steeps in the broth as it heats up.

Once the broth is boiling, I add the matzo balls and cook them until they’re light and fluffy, about 20 minutes. When that’s done, I add a liberal squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a handful of chopped parsley to each bowl.

The combination of ginger, lemon, and parsley seems to have magical healing powers, and my kids and husband particularly love this version of the classic soup. It feels like a special treat I can make to help them feel a little better.

<p>Simply Recipes / Stephanie A Ganz</p>

Simply Recipes / Stephanie A Ganz

Lemony Matzo Ball Soup Variations

This soup is meant to be adaptable and, above all, easy. Don’t have homemade stock? Use store-bought, or skip it altogether and go with the soup mix that’s in the box.

Fresh ginger (as opposed to dried) is important for the flavor. If you keep a few knobs of peeled ginger in the freezer, you’ll always have some on hand. Consider this a nudge to start doing that if you don’t already. Likewise, fresh lemon is important, so don’t cut corners there.

You can use whatever matzo ball soup mix or recipe you prefer. If yours has carrots and celery, invite them to the party! You could also add mushrooms or hearty greens like kale to give the soup some extra heft, but you don’t need it. Chopped dill or scallions would be a welcome addition or substitution for parsley.

How To Serve, Store, and Reheat Lemony Matzo Ball Soup

In this house, we’re of the mindset that matzo ball soup is a whole meal, so we often serve it straight up with nothing else. In the interest of making a more complete dining experience, you could serve the soup with a big salad or a rotisserie chicken.

I store my leftover soup in a quart-sized deli container in the fridge, where it will last for about a week. To reheat, I pour the whole thing into a saucepan and heat it on the stove over medium heat for about five minutes. You can also reheat the soup in the microwave (but don’t microwave it in the plastic!) for a couple of minutes.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.