(The Nosher via JTA) — Let’s face it: There’s just something wonderfully soothing about seeing a steaming bowl of matzoh ball soup with its pillowy-plump dumplings swimming in a bath of golden broth.

This healing vegetarian matzoh ball soup delivers all the “ah” of its traditional cousin with precisely the right amount of goodness (and good-for-you-ness) thanks to a clever use of shiitake mushrooms, tomato paste and a pot full of seasonal vegetables. Whether you add our healthy matzoh ball soup to your Friday night dinner routine or prepare a large pot for lazy Sunday afternoons for the family, this soup is certain to satisfy the stomach and soul.

When we first considered a vegetarian alternative to chicken soup, we knew that we didn’t want to use bouillon cubes, powders or vegetable broth. The question was, how could we create a deep, rich taste that would satisfy our family? The first thing we did was caramelize some tomato paste with olive oil in order to enhance the flavors of the tomatoes and oil; then we added fresh shiitake mushroom tops for their chicken-like texture and rich almost-smoky flavor.

Additional depth came from a cheesecloth bag filled with delicious ingredients — red and yellow onions (skins still on to create a rich-colored broth), carrot, parsnip and celery, dill, parsley and a whole head of garlic. We also cooked the matzoh balls in the vegetable broth instead of cooking them separately, so they could absorb the flavor of the broth. The result was a rich, deep-flavored broth where the chicken was not missed.

This soup is easy to make and can be dressed up or down. Try serving it in an elegant china bowl with a steamed bundle of julienned carrots, zucchini and yellow squash for a sophisticated first course to a formal dinner. You can also cut plenty of root vegetables (sweet potato, turnips, butternut squash) into a large dice and cook together in the soup for a delicious more rustic soup.

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The Best Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe
Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup
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Rating: 0
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Course Soup
Cuisine Jewish
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the soup:
For the matzoh balls:
  • 1 pack matzoh ball mix prepared according to directions (or make homemade)
Course Soup
Cuisine Jewish
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the soup:
For the matzoh balls:
  • 1 pack matzoh ball mix prepared according to directions (or make homemade)
Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Add the sliced shiitake mushroom caps, stir well and cook for another minute.
  3. Add 10 cups water, salt, turmeric and pepper (don’t add all the salt at once here, you can adjust to taste later).
  4. Place the shiitake stems, carrots, parsnip, onions, celery, garlic, dill and parsley in a cheese cloth. Tie it well with kitchen twine and place it in the soup pot. Bring to a boil and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for an hour. The broth should be ready and should be flavorful. If it’s not, continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes.
  6. While soup cooks, prepare the matzoh balls following the package instructions.
  7. Remove cheesecloth from the soup and place it in a colander with a bowl underneath. Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the cheesecloth and pour it into the soup pot (the liquid will be hot, so use a wooden spoon or another utensil). Discard vegetables.
  8. Prepare matzoh ball according to directions on the box, and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Or, you can make a homemade version.
  9. Place the matzoh balls directly into the broth and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

(Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox are sisters who were raised in Barcelona, Spain. Their parents are Syrian-Lebanese Jews but now they live, cook and blog from the East Coast of the U.S. about their family recipes and healthy eating at MayIHaveThatRecipe.com.)

The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

Source
Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox, The Nosher
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