Authentic home and kitchen store. The best service around. The authority on home and kitchen store. It all comes back to Home

Search This Blog

Subscribe By Email

Boston: A Bowl of Matzoh Ball Soup—and a Side of Guilt—from the New England Soup Factory

Boston: A Bowl of Matzoh Ball Soup—and a Side of Guilt—from the New England Soup Factory: "

[Photograph: Elizabeth Bomze]

Growing up with a chronic sense of guilt in mind is just part of a
Jewish kid's emotional framework, but my particular bout of self-reproach revolves around a bowl of soup—specifically, the Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup at New England Soup Factory.

It's not about the calories in the dish or its price ($6.25 for a bowl), neither of which is particularly high. It's about what most Jewish guilt is about: family. Most of the stories I've ever read about great Jewish food are told from the perspective of a person recalling his or her grandmother's version of a dish, because according to de facto Jewish law, nobody makes better kugel, schnecken, or matzoh ball soup than grandma.

I wish I could wax nostalgic about my grandmother's matzoh ball soup—and to be honest, it was always pretty good. (The best versions were when she made her own turkey stock.) But when I moved to Boston and went looking for a decent bowl of the stuff, I stumbled upon the best version I'd ever had at, of all places, the New England Soup Factory.

I say that with skepticism partly because I was so surprised that such a good rendition was being made just steps away from my office in Brookline Village, and also because, as Kenji once said to me, the word 'factory' doesn't inspire much confidence in the quality of the product. More to the point: What kind of granddaughter prefers soup made in a 'factory' to the stuff her grandmother lovingly fussed over at home?

The only excuse I can offer: New England Soup Factory chef/owner Marjorie Druker's matzoh ball soup—more accurately, her "triple strength" Chicken Vegetable Soup with the optional matzoh ball added in—is her Grandma Florrie's recipe. At least someone's grandmother is getting credit here.

The broth is visibly rich—a deep shade of gold—and tastes nothing like the bouillon cube-enhanced versions in most delicatessens. Rather, it epitomizes what a good chicken stock should taste like: like it's been gurgling away on the stove for hours, eking out every last ounce of flavor from the chicken. There are cubes of white meat and tender slices of oversized carrots. There are thin egg noodles added à la minute, if you want them. And most importantly, there is the biggest, best-tasting matzoh ball this side of the Lower East Side.

According to the recipe (published in the New England Soup Factory Cookbook—see page 58), the trick to Grandma Florrie's matzoh balls is twofold: whipped egg whites and club soda for lightness, egg yolks and schmaltz for rich flavor.

Neither of these components strikes me as especially unusual; most good recipes call for adding chicken fat, and quite a few employ either carbonated water or whipped egg whites to keep the dumplings from turning dense. Maybe the real key is using both. Whatever the secret, Druker's matzoh balls are exceptional—both the grapefruit-sized specimens she serves at the restaurant and the homemade version, which, if it's any consolation to my grandmother, I now make religiously several times a year.

New England Soup Factory

2 Brookline Place, Brookline MA 02445 (map)




Almond Apple Apricots Arancini Asian Asparagus beans Avocado Baked bakery Balls Banana Bar barbecue Bars Basket Bean Bed Bedroom Beef Beef Stock Belgian Bell Pepper Berry Biscuits Bites Black Friday Blackberry Blancmange Blueberry Boiled Bolognese Bowl Box Cake Braid Brandy Bread breakfast Broccoli Brownies Bruschetta Brussels sprouts Bunny Buns Burrito Butter Buttermilk Cake Cake Mix Candy Caramel Carbonara Carrot Casserole Cheddar Cheese Cheese Pastry Cheese Snack Cheeseburger Cheesecake Cherry Cherry Tomatoes Chia chicken Chicken Legs Chicken Stock Chips Chocolate Chocolate Chip Chocolate Dipped Christmas Cinnamon clay flowers cocktail Coconut Coffee Collection 2018 Cookies Corn Cottage cheese Cracker Cracker Snacks Crackers Crackling Cranberry Cream Cream Cheese Creme Brulee Crisp Crispy Croutons Crunchy Crust Cucumber Cupcake Custard Dark Chocolate desert Dinner Dinnerware Dip Ditalini Dough drinks Easter Egg Egg Noodles Egg-battered Eggplant Energy Espresso Machine Farfalle Fashion Fettuccine Fillet fish food Frappe French French Sandwich Frittata Frosting Fruit fruits Fudge Funchoza Furniture Galettes Ginger Gingerbread Glaze Gluten Goat Cheese Gourmet Granola Granola Bars Grapes Green Peas Greens Grilled Chicken Ham Healthy Home Home and Kitchen Store Honey Horseradish horseradish cream Hot Dog Ice Iced Italian jam Kitchen lasagna Latte Laundry Lachine Lemon Lime Living room Maple Marshmallow Marzipan Mascarpone Mashed Potato Meat Meatballs Microwave Mint Molten Lava Mousse Mozzarella Muffins Mug Mushroom Mustard Napa Cabbage Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies No-bake No-Cook Noodles Nuggets Nut Nutella Oat Conundrum Oatmeal Oats Olive Omelet Onion Orange Oreo Pan-fried apple Pancakes Panforte Panini Parmesan Pasta Pastry Cups Patties Peach Peanut Pear Penne Peppermint Peppermint Stick Cookies Pepperoni Pesto Pie Pineapple Pistachio Pistachio Nuts Pita Pita Bread Pita Chips pizza Popcorn Popsicles pork Potato Profiteroles Prosciutto Pudding Puff Pastry Pumpkin Quesadilla Raisins Raspberries Recipe Red Wine Refrigerators rice Ricotta Rigate Rigatoni Risotto Roast Roast Potato Roasted Rocky Roll Cookies Roll ups Rolls Rosemary Sage sallad Salmon Salted Caramel Saltimbocca sandwich Sauce Sausages Scones Seafood Seed Shrimp Simnel Skewers Slush Smoothie snacks Snickerdoodles Snowballs Soba Sorbet Souffle soup Sour Spaghetti Spicy Spinach Spring Onion Squash st Steel-Cut Sticks Strawberries Stuffing Tart tea coffe Terrine thai Thumbprints Tiramisu Toast Tomato-wine Tomatoes Topping Tortilla Tortilla Chips Trifle Tropical Trout Tuna Turkey Vacuum Cleaner vegan Vegetable Veggie Waffle Walnut Watermelon Wrap Yogurt Yule log Zucchini

Most Popular Items on Sale

My Blog List

My Blog List