Pumpkin Matzo Dumpling Soup

by Hannah Kaminsky
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Completely nontraditional and aligned with entirely the wrong Jewish holiday, these are definitely not your Bubbie’s matzah balls. Bound together with roasted pumpkin puree, I prefer to think of them more as matzah dumplings, since they bear a denser, more toothsome texture than the fluffy pillows of Passover lore. The goal of this wintery interpretation was not to perfect the vegan matzah ball, but to create something with the same sort of comforting flavors, revamped with a more seasonal spin.


Ingredients

Matzah Balls
1 + cups fine matzo meal
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup yellow onion, very finely minced
1 + ½ cups roasted pumpkin puree or 1 (14-ounce) can 100% solid packed pumpkin puree
¼ cup olive oil

Vegetable Soup
6 cups vegetable broth
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
¼ cup fresh dill, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the matzo meal, salt, garlic powder, baking powder, and soda. Yes, it may seem like a lot of salt, but it gets rationed into many little matzah dumplings. Don’t back down on the amount or else you’ll risk making bland matzah balls! Make sure all the dry goods are evenly distributed throughout before adding in the minced onion, tossing to coat. Combine the pumpkin puree and olive oil in a separate container, whisking until smooth, and pour the wet mixture into the bowl. Mix with a wide spatula, stirring thoroughly to combine, until there are no remaining pockets of dry ingredients. Let the matzo batter sit in a cool spot for about 15 minutes to thicken before proceeding.
  3. I like using a small cookie scoop for more consistent dumplings, but a good old fashioned tablespoon will do just fine as well. Scoop out about 2 teaspoons of the matzo mixture for each dumpling, rolling them very gently between lightly moistened hands to round them out. Place each one on your prepared baking sheet about 1/2-inch part. There’s no risk of them spreading, but giving them a bit of breathing room helps to ensure more even cooking. Repeat until all of the batter is used and you have a neat little army of raw matzah balls ready to be baked. Lightly spritz the tops with olive oil spray for better browning, if desired.
  4. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through, until golden brown all over.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the soup itself by combining the broth, carrots, celery, and onion in a medium stock pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking until the carrots are fork-tender. Right before serving, add in the fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle out some of the soup into each soup bowl and add in the baked matzo dumplings right before serving. Enjoy piping hot!

Notes
  1. The matzah balls can be prepared and baked up to 5 days in advance; store in an airtight container in the fridge and re-crisp at 350 degrees for 10 minutes before assembling the soup.
  2. Find more of Hannah’s recipes at Bittersweet Blog and follow her on Instagram.

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