Hot enough? Pati Jinich is here for You

Photo by Ellen Silverman

A Mushroom Jalapeño Matzah Ball Soup Perfect For The Heatwave That Is Summer 2021.

Pati Jinich is a treasure. With Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking (2013) and Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens (2016), she has ushered great, contemporary Mexican cooking into our lives. If Dianna Kennedy framed the historical foundation of the diversity of cuisine that abounds in Mexico, Pati Jinich shows us what’s happening today. 

Treasures of the Mexican Table, Pati’s third cookbook will be released on November 2, 2021.

In addition to her books, Jinich has produced multiple television shows which are available on PBS and various streaming services. Giving us extraordinary access to Mexico’s great home kitchens, farms, restaurants, and, best of all, the people who make it all happen.

Jinich also shares her family history through food, writing,”my grandfather on my mother’s side, Francisco, whom we called “Yeye,” was wild about chiles. Not very common in his native Bratislava, I guess. He used to say that what he loved the most about his new country was the predictable weather (especially the bright sunny winters), the colorful markets, and most of all, the chiles. All of them.” 

A picture perfect for Yeye!

Francisco had escaped the Slovak Republic during WWII, where approximately 15,000 other Jews in the capital city of Bratislava were deported to concentration camps, where nearly all were killed. 

Jinich continued the story of her family with her grandmother, “she had Austrian training in the kitchen and made exquisite and elegant foods. Once in Mexico, she fell in love with the cuisine and learned how to combine the two culinary traditions. She became a master at it. She created a classic dish out of her Mushroom Jalapeño Matzah Ball Soup.” 

A beautiful story of cultures meeting and something new and wonderful being born. 

One warning: this recipe is addictive. It is by far the matzah ball soup I make at home the most. It is particularly great because you can swap out the chicken broth for excellent quality vegetable broth and make a dairy meal. And if you have an avocado handy, a few slices into this mix is a treat. 

Mushroom Jalapeño Matzah Ball Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup matzah ball mix
  • 2 Tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp sparkling water (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño chiles finely chopped, seeded optional, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms wiped clean with cloth, sliced
  • 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 8-10 cups chicken broth (** I use high quality vegetable broth for dairy meals **)


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the matzah ball mix, parsley, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • In another small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.
  • Fold in the beaten eggs to the matzah ball mixture with a spatula. Add the sparkling water if you want the matzo balls fluffy, and mix well until well combine.
  • Cover the mix and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • Bring about 12 cups of salted water to a rolling boil in a large soup pot.
  • Bring heat down to medium and keep at a steady simmer. With wet hands, make about 1 inch balls out of the matzah ball mix and gently drop them into the water. Cover and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large cooking pot. Add the onion, garlic and chiles and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until they have softened. Incorporate the sliced mushrooms. sprinkle the salt, stir and cover with a lid. Steam the mushrooms for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Take off the lid and pour the chicken broth over the mushroom base. Once it is simmering, incorporate the already cooked matzah balls, without their cooking liquid, and serve.

This recipe is from Pati’s awesome cookbook Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens