A Bubbe-Approved Matzo Ball Soup

Hunting & Gathering

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY MAR 17, 2020

Yes, The Overton had a rough time when it first opened. But two years later, perhaps buffeted by its breezy environs and stylish design elements, The Overton managed to linger long enough for people to notice that the food was, in fact, pretty good too. This came at no surprise seeing as the menu was created by Chef Christian Hershman, the same mastermind that produced the instantly popular State Street Eating House + Cocktails in 2012. But the menu at The Overton is less about satisfying gourmands and more about giving diners a tasty experience with no frills.

And what food most exemplifies the ethos of no-frills, salt-of-the-earth, unabashed nourishment of both spirit and body? At The Overton, it’s the matzo ball soup. Crafted with the consultation of an actual, living, breathing bubbe, the dish is made to pass the taste test of discerning Jewish grandmothers everywhere. The finished plate looks unassuming—a savory matzo ball set like an island amidst a hazy chicken broth, with small bits of shredded chicken, diced spring onions, sliced radishes and a garnish of dill to cap it off—but the secret of any good soup is that elusive fourth dimension: time. The broth stews for hours, cooking down into a salty concentration of liquid gold. The matzo ball makes use of schmaltz, a traditional source of fat used by Ashkenazi Jews made from chicken fat, and with this and a careful ratio of matzo meal to water, Hershman and the bubbe consultant came up with a ball that is rich and filling. 

Photo by Andrew Fabian.

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