Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

As we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Easter and/or the major Passover festivals during this Holy Week, I wanted to share a Meatless Monday Meal idea that is both delicious and kosher for Passover.

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
The soup served at traditional Passover seders is very much similar to this one (except that’s made with chicken broth. The Passover soup course functions primarily as a medium for the matzo balls.

Vegetable Soup (Servings: 8)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
1 32-oz. carton low-sodium 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, or use a Kosher for Passover brand (Mrs. Dash Table Blend)
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 Vegan Matzo Balls (recipe follows)

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat until golden.

Add the broth, potato, carrots, celery leaves, seasoning blend, and 2 cups 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 cumin and dill, then season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand for several hours off the heat to develop flavor. It can also be made a day in advance.

Just before serving, bring to a simmer. Adjust consistency with more water if needed be, and taste to adjust seasonings. Add warmed matzo balls to individual servings of soup.

Vegan Matzo Balls: (Servings: approximately 24 balls) Soy-free, nut-free, can be made gluten-free using gluten-free option

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups boiling water
1 cup matzo meal (or 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes for a gluten-free version)
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (such as safflower)
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few grindings of black pepper
Pinch of onion and garlic powder (optional)

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, cover quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.

Stir in the matzo meal along with the oil, and mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275 degrees 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 20-25 minutes, carefully turning 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.

Variation: to make these gluten-free, substitute 1 1/4 cups quinoa flakes for the matzo meal. Don’t add them to the original quantity of quinoa flakes; this is a separate measure to use dry. A bit more is needed than the quantity of matzo meal for the purpose, as the quinoa flakes are less dense.

Recipe inspired Vegan Holiday Kitchen

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