This recipe for vegetable soup with vegan matzo balls is from Nava Atlas' Vegan Holiday Kitchen. It is soy-free and nut-free and, if the matzo balls are eliminated or made with the quinoa option, it is gluten-free.
The author gives a heads up by saying these are not going to be like your Bubbe's big, fluffy matzo balls. But they're not cannonballs either. Many vegan matzo ball recipes use silken tofu as a binder which, for many Jews, is not an allowed Passover food. The trick here is to bake them at a low temperature rather than boil because, without egg as a binder, vegan matzo balls are more likely than not to fall apart in water.
- For the Vegetable Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other healthy vegetable oil)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 3 stalks celery (diced)
- 32 ounces vegetable broth
- 6 medium potatoes (peeled and finely diced)
- 6 to 8 medium carrots (sliced)
- Handful of celery leaves
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend (use a kosher for Passover brand)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup fresh dill (or to taste, chopped)
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- For the Vegan Matzo Balls:
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 2 cups water (boiling)
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1/4 cup safflower oil (or other light vegetable oil)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash black pepper
- Optional: pinch onion powder
- Optional: pinch garlic powder
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this matzoh ball dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Soup
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat until golden.
Add the broth, potatoes, carrots, celery leaves, seasoning blend, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the dill, then season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand for several hours off the heat to develop flavor. It also can be made a day in advance.
Just before serving, bring to a simmer. Adjust the consistency with more water if need be, and taste to adjust seasonings. Add warmed matzo balls to individual servings of soup.
Make the Matzo Balls
Gather the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with 2 cups of boiling water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.
Stir in the matzo meal, oil, salt, pepper, optional onion powder, and optional garlic powder and mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Just before baking, heat the oven to 275 F. Roll the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don't pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until firm to the touch; don't let them brown.
If making ahead of time, let the matzo balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium oven and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzo balls per serving.
- Follow the directions for vegan matzo balls, substituting 1 1/4 cups quinoa flakes for the matzo meal. These quinoa flakes are not to be plumped in the water with the original 1 cup of quinoa flakes. They take the place of the matzo in the mixture and a bit more is needed than the 1 cup of matzo meal called for in the original recipe because the quinoa flakes are less dense.