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Slow Cooker Sabzi (Persian Herb Soup) With Lamb-Mint Matzo Balls

Serves 8

For the soup
1 3-pound chicken
2 32-ounce cartons of prepared kosher chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
1 parsnip, peeled and cut in half
1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
1 stalk of celery, peeled and cut in half
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in quarters
1 leek, cleaned and cut in half
1 large onion, cut in quarters
Bunch of dill
Bunch of basil
Bunch of parsley
Optional: other herbs to taste such as thyme, mint, cilantro, oregano, zaatar (in my mind, the more herbs the better)

1) Put all of the ingredients into a crockpot and cook for eight hours.

2) Allow to cool. Remove and separate chicken, vegetables and herbs.

3) Strain broth and skim off fat. Puree vegetables and herbs and put back in the broth. Salt to taste.

4) If you like chicken in the soup, pull chicken off the bone, flake or cut into desired size and put back into the soup.

For the matzo balls
½ cup finely minced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound ground lamb
¼ cup of finely chopped fresh mint
1 packet low-sodium matzo ball mix
1 teaspoon za’atar spice mix

1) Lightly sauté minced onion in olive oil.

2) Add lamp and chop to keep in fine pieces while browning.

3) Prepare matzo ball mix according to the directions on the box. Add meat, onion, fresh mint and za’atar to mixture, form balls and cook according to directions in a pot of boiling water.

4) To serve: Ladle 1 cup of soup into bowl with 2–3 matzo balls. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.

Dr. Susan Sandler, a creative kosher cook in suburban Philadelphia, is medical director of a retirement community.

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