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Traditional Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

We've all heard the about Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but how do you cook a book? With this simple and superb recipe for Traditional Chicken Soup, a pot chock full of fresh vegetables, herbs, chicken and of course, tender matzo balls, you'll have a bestseller in every bowl.

Ingredients

Homemade Chicken Soup

1 (4 lb) whole chicken, well rinsed
8 chicken wings, split, tips removed
5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large bunch of fresh dill
10 black peppercorns
1 tbsp kosher salt

Matzo Balls

4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp kosher salt
A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup matzo meal

Directions

1) For the soup, place the whole chicken and chicken wings in a very large soup pot. Fill with enough cold water to cover the chicken and fill the pot to 3/4 full. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim off the foam that accumulates on the top. Reduce heat to a simmer and add carrots, celery, parsnips, onion, garlic, parsley, dill, peppercorns and salt. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering gently for 2 hours. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 1 hour.

2) Strain the soup into another pot through a very fine sieve or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Shred the meat from the chicken breast and put it in the strained soup or save for another time. Discard the remaining chicken and solids.

3) Salt the soup to taste. Cool soup and skim off any fat that has risen to the surface (the easiest way is to refrigerate the soup overnight and then discard solidified fat from the surface). Serve hot with shredded chicken, matzo balls and/or cooked egg noodles.

4) For the matzo balls, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Whisk in matzo meal just until combined. Cover mixture lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour until slightly firm.

5) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove matzo ball mixture from refrigerator. Gently roll a heaping tablespoon of the matzo mixture into balls too much pressure when rolling the balls will make them too hard. Add to boiling water, cover and reduce heat to low, simmering until doubled in size, 25-30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to prepared soup.

Yield: 20-24 matzo balls Serves 10-12

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Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at BiteMeMore.com.