Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Flowers and Matzoh-Veggie Soup!

It's finally spring!

We need to celebrate!

Dress up in all our pretty bright Easter-colored clothes ("Oh Mom, do we HAVE to?") and enjoy bouquets of local tulips (this particular one from my sisters) and do some spring-ish sort of cooking.

Here are a couple items I made over the weekend.

I'm not Jewish, and I don't know where I originally learned to cook these things, but my kids love my Matzoh-Ball soup. Well, OK, they love the soup I used to make which traditionally needs eggs to make nice fluffy matzoh-balls.

I've really struggled with veganizing the recipe and still getting the matzoh-balls to turn out anything CLOSE to the "original" but I think we're pretty close here finally. (Of course, even more traditionally those matzoh-balls are cooked in chicken-broth, but obviously THAT part is easy enough to veganize).

Let me also point out that while I am not Jewish, but I do have several friends who are. I was discussing my matzoh-ball-veganization trials and mentioned using tofu. Well, evidently for Ashkenazi members, keeping Kosher at Holidays means no legumes... including tofu. (I've since learned that some rabbis allow tofu for those following vegan and Kosher but I don't really profess to know how all that works exactly.) At any rate, to make things more difficult or maybe just in the interest of a challenge, I decided to try making vegan AND soy-free matzoh-balls! What is wrong with me?

So..... Finally, with a lot of gooey, crumbly trial-and-errors, I think we have a winner. Or maybe at least a fair substitute...

Soy-free, Dairy-free Matzoh Balls

1/2 cup matzoh meal
2 Tbsp potato starch (yes, this is the only thing that works here, I tried other things, don't ask me what else you can substitute, because nothing else worked out for me, but hey - try whatever you want...)
2/3 cup water (minus about 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. oil
pinch (literally JUST a pinch) of baking soda
pinch of onion powder
pinch of salt
pinch of parsley

Mix all the above ingredients together until almost the consistency for rolling into balls.

Like a soft, slightly sticky play-dough, but it can be quite a bit softer, as the dough will absorb liquid as it sits. Add a little more matzoh or liquid if needed for the right texture - and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Roll into about 16 small balls and drop into gently boiling vegetable or vegetarian-"chicken" broth or your own choice of homemade broth or any salty, seasoned water.

Turn down heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Remove from water with slotted spoon and bake on an oiled rack (over a cookie sheet) for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until they start to dry out.

Refrigerate if you're not ready to use.

When ready to use, warm in the oven covered with foil (or in the microwave *gasp*). Add to soup of your choice and serve.

My actual "soup" is nothing fancy - I usually throw a bunch of plain old frozen mixed veggies in some simple vegetarian "chik-flavored" broth and add the matzoh balls. If you leave the matzoh balls in the broth a bit they start to soften which can be good, but too long and they fall apart, but the broth thickens up nicely too. So do whatever you like.

I'll close with a gratuitous food-porn shot of the amazing Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, versions of which have been making the blog rounds lately.

Food Network's Barefoot Contessa makes these in a wonderful way, I was inspired watching her, but I actually used this recipe from Bunnyfoot's blog. Beautiful AND so tasty!!!

I want to swim in this bowl.


Lizzy said...

Hey, thank you for the comment on my blog =)
And yes, finally it's spring! Great, isn't it? I've really had enough of winter..
Mhh, how I would love to have some roasted brussels sprouts now!

VeggieGirl said...

hooray for spring!! too bad it's still 20°F here, and snowing like mad, haha. enjoy the beautiful weather for me!!

you combined garlic AND brussels sprouts?!?!?! my taste buds thank you (since I'm a garlic and brussels sprout fanatic) :0)

Michelle said...

My family is among the no-soy-on-passover Jews, which I always thought was tragic, especially since I couldn't make the VwaV matzah balls on Passover. I think I'm going to try yours this year!

Billy said...

Hi family!

Mmm, I LOVE brussel sprouts. Everyone thinks I'm weird.

Anyway, I like your blog. I've added you to my vegan blogroll.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that recipe! I LOVE Matzoh ball soup SO much, and have missed it since becoming vegan. Thank you!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Your first pic is such a cute photo :o).

And yay for garlic brussels sprouts!

Veggie said...

Yum, I LOVE Matzo Ball soup. I'm still waiting for my local grocery store to get some in. It should be very soon now.

I was planning on trying Isa's tofu one but now I'll have to try them both. Thanks for posting your recipe.

We tried your crockpot cream of mushroom soup tonight for dinner and it was great.

Mihl said...

Spring, here we come! I can't wait any longer for brighter and warmer days although I know I will have to wait at least one more month...
Your matzoh ball soup sounds very yummy, another dish I really need to try!

Cynthia said...

Many of us applaud and appreciate your hard work at making the matzoh.

pleasantly plump vegan said...

i love yr youngest one's face! classic!!!
i have never had matzoh ball soup and now i wanna have a big bwl.

Urban Vegan said...

Pretty tulips and matzo balls.

mare said...

Never having had Matzoh, fogive be for being excited that you'd made these vegan or vegetarian AND gluten-free...

Rachael said...

Onion powder is a good call...I will have to try that! Oh, and have you tried Ener-G Egg Replacer for this? Works like a charm.

Beautiful tulips...much MORE beautiful family!

Happy spring to you all...

Seitan Said Dance said...

Thanks so much for posting the matzo ball recipe. I just tried it as part of my pre-Passover prep and it's perfect! My non-kitniyot-eating family is thrilled.