Pumpkin Matzah Dumpling Soup
Completely nontraditional and aligned with entirely the wrong Jewish holiday, these are definitely not your Bubbe’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. Moreover, purists would be horrified at my cooking methods. A baked matzah ball, for crying out loud? That’s downright heresy in some kitchens, I’m sure. The beauty of this approach is that rather than getting soggy dumplings, halfway dissolved into a puddle of lukewarm soup, they stay perfectly intact until the moment your spoon carves through the tender spheres. Allowing for effortless advanced preparation, just keep the dumplings safely out of the golden, vegetable-rich pool until the moment you’re ready to serve. ©Hannah Kaminsky, http://www.BitterSweetBlog.com.
- Matzah Balls
- 1 1/3 cups fine matzah meal
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher-for-Passover baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher-for-Passover baking soda
- ¼ cup very finely minced yellow onion
- 1½ 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 ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, stir together the matzah 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 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 matzah batter sit in a cool spot for about 15 minutes to thicken before proceeding.
- 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 matzah 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 ½ an inch apart. 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.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through, until golden brown all over.
- Meanwhile, prepare the soup itself by combining the broth, carrots, celery and onion in a medium stockpot. 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.
- Ladle out some of the soup into each soup bowl and add in the baked matzah dumplings right before serving. Enjoy piping hot!