THIS is a NYC tradition for me. Second Avenue Deli and a spot under Houston on Hudson where the Matzo balls in the soup were as big as softballs. When the road called that was where my homesickness showed up every year, so much so that wherever I was, if I found a jar of Manischewitz Matzo Ball soup during the season you’d have thought I’d found a hundred dollar bill. I carried the penultimate Matzo Ball soup recipe around with me on the road for 5 years before having the cajones to try to make it myself. But once I did, it was on. Now at least ONE feast for Hanukkah is matzo ball soup. Usually I’m happily noshing for days.
All kinds of hacks have arisen over the years but I feel like the best place to start someone who has yet to be inducted to the order of what a good fricking bowl of matzo ball soup does to the soul is not my madness but instead a man with some sincerity and skin in the game, Chef Billy Parisi. I hope you enjoy it.