A lot of people say autumn weather pushes them towards the kitchen, towards the warmth of the stove as the sky darkens and the air chills, towards soups and stews and pies filled with apples.
One of you even said here recently that this time of year means that the family comes inside together, to be cozy and warm, sipping hot cups of tea.
But can I tell you something?
October has had the opposite effect on me. Instead of slowing down to come inside, I’ve gotten busier – busier in a very good way!
I’ve been doing fantastic things like celebrating birthdays, getting ready for Halloween, touring new neighborhoods, visiting farms, and driving to see family and friends who live miles and miles away.
But in the midst of all these good gifts of conversation and travel and not-made-by-me food, I am having the hardest time getting into the kitchen!
Luckily, a very good friend of mine brought this soup over to the house for me, when I was at my busiest and had absolutely nothing in the fridge, except for a half-empty bottle of ketchup and some expired milk.
This restorative meal is the perfect reminder to take a small break from the mayhem of a busy life – to sit down, hands wrapped around a warm bowl, slowly and mindfully savoring every spoonful of broth, subtly infused with the flavors from leeks and carrots, and eating the tender dumplings, bite by delicious bite.
Traditionally, the matzo balls are mixed with schmaltz, or chicken fat. However, this version is a vegetarian alternative, using vegetable oil instead of the fat and vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.
I invite you all to try this simple and easy recipe below. Or, better yet, have someone else make it for you if you don’t have the time!Print
Chilly night? Warm up with a bowlful of vegetarian matzo ball soup. Enjoy homemade dumplings and broth flavored with leeks and carrots.
For the Dumplings:
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2-4 Tablespoons seltzer water or club soda
For the Soup:
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Dill, for garnish
For the Dumplings:
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Stir in the matzo meal, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons seltzer water and stir to form a slightly sticky mixture. If it is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of seltzer and stir to combine.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- While the dumplings are chilling, bring a large pot 3/4 full of salted water to a simmer.
- Form the chilled matzo mixture into 12 balls that are about 1 inch in diameter.
- Drop the balls into the simmering water and cook uncovered until they have expanded and are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside on a plate.
For the Soup:
- In another large pot, simmer the vegetable stock. Add the leeks and carrots. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the matzo balls to the stock to reheat. Ladle the soup into four bowls, placing a few matzo balls in each bowl. Garnish with some dill sprigs in each bowl, and serve.
Keywords: matzo ball, soup, vegetarian, comfort food, Passover
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Dumpling Mixture
Whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Stir in the matzo meal, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add a little seltzer water at a time until the mixture is slightly sticky.
Cover and chill the mixture until it becomes cool and firm, for about one hour.
Step 2 – Form the Dumplings
Using an ice cream scoop, two spoons, or your hands, form the chilled matzo mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. You should have 12 balls total.
The dough is going to be a little sticky. If you are using your hands, be sure to lightly wet them in between each roll to prevent excessive sticking.
Step 3 – Cook the Dumplings
Simmer a large stock pot full of salted water.
Carefully drop the balls into the simmering water and cook, uncovered, until they have expanded and are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside on a separate plate.
Step 4 – Warm the Soup
In another large pot, simmer the vegetable stock. Add the chopped leeks and carrots, and cook until tender, for about 10 minutes.
Love homemade? Try making your own vegetables stock, all from scratch!
Step 5 – Add the Dumplings and Serve
Add the cooked matzo balls to the simmering stock and reheat for a few minutes. Ladle the warm soup into four bowls, placing a few matzo balls in each bowl. Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill and serve hot.
Unwind with a Different Delicious Dumpling
We’re replacing chicken and dumplings with vegetables and matzo, in this comforting recipe for vegetarian matzo ball soup.
So wherever you are, however your week is going, and whether it’s drawing you inside or sending you out, I hope you’ll find some time to cook this recipe.
Or if you don’t, I hope you have good friends in your life who stop by to sit a while, that you’re able to enjoy a day off, or that you get an opportunity to talk with friends and family… because, it seems to me, these are some of the best things in life.
While you’re relaxing and sipping on this hearty meal, take just a moment to rate this recipe, write a rave review in the comment section below, and skim through our other soup and stew recipes or try out these tasty options:
- Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale (Vegetarian)
- Lemon Orzo Soup (Vegan)
- Potato and Chanterelle Soup with Fresh Arugula Pesto (Vegan)
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 29, 2009. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone. Last updated: November 4, 2018 at 9:46 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.