(Photo: Mari Levine)

One of the best things about living and working in Brookline Village has always been being steps away from New England Soup Factory, which makes my favorite matzo ball soup. At least, that used to be one of the perks, until the Soup Factory closed its Brookline location after the building was sold. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean I’m out of matzo ball luck or that I have to make my way to their other location in Newton to find my favorite soup. The recipe, which Marjorie Druker published in her 2005 cookbook, gives me the power to make my own at home. (The matzo ball portion of the recipe is below.)

So, just what makes this version my favorite? First, paramount to any Jewish recipe, it has familial history: The recipe is Druker’s grandmother’s, and matzo ball soup always tastes better when it’s been vetted by a Jewish grandmother. Am I right?!

In addition to that, the soup hits the sweet spot of appealing texture and rich flavor. Matzo balls run the risk of feeling dense and leaden, but these massive matzo balls—so big one of them fills an entire pint container—are ultra light, thanks to whipped egg whites and club soda. Give them a few minutes in the soup and they take on all the flavor of the rich, savory broth. The Soup Factory serves them with chicken soup—also Grandma Florrie’s recipe—but these matzo balls make a great addition to your favorite soup broth.

Grandma Florrie’s Matzo Balls

From “New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup

Makes 12 to 15 matzo balls

7 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
¼ cup chicken fat, or vegetable oil, such as canola
1 ¾ cups matzo meal
2 ½ tablespoons club soda
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Fill an 8-quart pot three-quarters of the way with salted water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together the egg yolks, remaining salt, chicken fat, matzo meal, club soda, onion powder, and parsley. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Using your hands roll the batter into walnut-size pieces. Drop the matzo balls into the water and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 35 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Who do YOU think makes the best matzo ball soup? Is it a family member or a local restaurant? Let us know in the comments!