Traditional matzo balls are matzo meal dumplings served in chicken stock, commonly enjoyed during the holiday of Passover. They are made with matzo meal, melted schmaltz (i.e. chicken fat), eggs, salt and club soda.
In this version, plant-based matzo balls are served in a rich vegetable broth. The matzo balls are made with potato puree and baked, giving them a pleasing consistency that holds up well as they float in the rich onion-leek broth. Matzo balls are one of those special foods that are hard to reinvent. The classic taste and texture are so specific that most people are not interested in alternatives. With that said, my mother, our designated Passover matzo ball soup maker, made these with me and called them “pretty good.”
Plant-Based Matzo Ball Soup Variations:
● Flavor and color: add one teaspoon of turmeric to the broth to add a vivid color and subtle bitter flavor to the broth
● Matzo Nuggets: during Passover, serve these as a crispy “matzo nugget” dipped in your favorite sauce (ketchup, tahini dressing if your custom permits, etc).
Yield: 15 matzo balls
Coarsely chop the vegetables and bake for five to 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer the baked vegetables to a pot and cover with water by two inches. Add the parsley and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for one hour, adding more water as needed.
Strain the broth and set aside. Discard the vegetables.
Combine the matzo meal (or quinoa flakes), sea salt, black pepper, and onion powder in a glass bowl.
Add 1/2 cup boiling water and the potato puree and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Roll into walnut-size balls and place on a lined baking tray.
Lightly spray with oil and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes, carefully turning midway through.
Sweat additional onion, remaining 1/2 cup sliced carrots, and a pinch of sea salt in the soup pot for 10 minutes, adding broth as needed to prevent sticking.
Add the remaining vegetable broth, sea salt and dill.
Bring to boil over medium high heat, then simmer for five to 10 minutes.
Place three matzo balls in each soup bowl.
Add the hot soup broth and garnish with dill.