Not for nothing is matzoh ball or Knaidal soup known as the Jewish penicillin. It’s a healing and nutritious comfort food that is loved at family gatherings during Passover, but also throughout the fall and winter.
No one has ever proved that this potion cures what ails you, but don’t tell that to Aunt Rachel. The showpiece of the soup is, of course, the matzoh balls, simple dumplings made of unleavened bread that are hearty but not overly rich. They’re filling but easy to digest, which makes this soup a natural during treatment.
Like other chicken soups, this one has a restorative effect. This recipe is an antioxidant-rich riff on traditional matzo ball soup, and though traditionalists (Aunt Rachel, for instance) may balk at adding parsnips, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots and spinach to the soup, the vegetables add heartiness, color and vitamins A and C.
Antioxidants are thought to help protect health by neutralizing free radicals in the body. The vegetables also add fiber, good for maintaining healthy digestion during treatment, and the spinach adds some iron, which helps you maintain energy and stamina.
The matzo balls (Knaidlach in Yiddish) in this recipe are particularly fluffy — and healthy — thanks to the use of canola oil rather than chicken fat.