Beet Kubbeh Matzah Ball Soup is here to shake up your matzah ball soup routine!
Yesss honeyyy, we are HERE! Passover week! (Sorry, I have possibly been watching too much Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.)
It’s so weird not hosting seder this year, but also kind of wonderful too! We have been extra busy with last minute ModernTribe Passover orders (you get a matzah tie! You get a matzah tie! Everybody gets a matzah tie!) And I just got back from a trip to Michigan for my boyfriend’s granddad’s 90th birthday. (He also got a matzah tie, and rugelach!) (And don’t worry, we stopped by Zingerman’s, for market research, of course.)
It was a fun trip, but now I’m back and in full matzah mode. Give me all the matzah pizza.
On my last trip to Israel with JWRP, I ate a lot of good food, but my favorite may have been the Iraqui Jewish soup I had on the last night in the Jerusalem Shuk with my friends Melissa and Chaya. During the day, the shuk is bustling with customers buying challah and spices and halva. But at night, people are literally dancing in the streets, drinking, flirting, frolicking. And all that frolicking works up an appetite! I like to order beet dishes when I see them on a menu because I love the taste, but also they are pretty and pink! So ordering Beet Kubbeh was an easy choice. The lemony beet soup filled with meat stuffed dumplings did not disappoint at all.
I knew I wanted to recreate the dish, and with Passover coming up, I thought why not use matzah balls? Why not indeed.Lots of fresh lemon is key to this new favorite soup of mine. You could do a vegetarian filling, or no filling at all too, and top the whole thing with some sour cream!
- For the beet soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 4 medium beets, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin (can leave out if you don't eat cumin for Passover)
- 7 cups broth
- 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- For the matzo balls:
- 4 large eggs, whisked
- ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
- ¼ cup seltzer water
- 1 cup matzo meal
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- For the meat filling:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- ¼ cup minced cilantro or parsley
- 1 large egg
- Dill for garnish
- First, make your beet broth. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and a pinch of salt and saute for 7-8 minutes, or until translucent. Add beets and celery and saute for 3 more minutes.
- Then add tomato paste, paprika and cumin and remaining salt and stir to combine. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes, or until beets are just tender.
- While your soup is simmering, make the matzo ball batter. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs oil and seltzer. Then add matzo meal and kosher salt, and just mix to combine. Do not overmix. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Then, make your meat filling. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- When your matzo ball mixture is ready, time to assemble! Take a spoonful of the meat mixture (I used a flat tablespoon or heaping teaspoon) and press matzo ball mixture around the meat to cover completely in a layer. Repeat until you use all the matzo meal, you will have extra meat you can use for meatballs or burgers. Makes 14-16 balls.
- Stir in the lemon juice and sugar into the beet broth. Then add the matzo balls in a single layer and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until balls are floating and cooked through. Resist the urge to peek before 30 minutes! Season with salt or lemon to taste, and serve with dill. Can be made up to 5 days ahead of time.