just like Grandma's - but with a vegan spin!
Happy Monday, guys! I'm excited for a new, fresh week & a jump start to a busy few days ahead. After the very sad recent news that took place in London, my heart breaks for everyone that is personally dealing with such tragedy. It's crazy to think I was just there in that exact area 3 weeks ago from today. I feel blessed to be safe here in NY, and the experience I've taken with me from my mini vaca in that lovely city, but it's sad to say I don't think I'll be going back for quite a while. All we can do is pray for the victims and their family, and hope nothing like this will happen again! <3
To feel absolute comfort and relaxation over the weekend, I decided to make a batch of my Grandma's matzo ball soup. It's hot and hearty, and truly reminds me of the days growing up. To be completely honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the actual "matzo balls" in the soup way back when. I'm not sure why, but I'd only eat the noddles and veggies to surround. But later down the line, I was finally able to appreciate how delicious and perfect this soup is! SO salty but with just the right amount of flavor.
Sadly, going vegan means matzo balls lose a massive and extremely important component. If you've never made them before, you'll learn now that the reason they are so airy and fluffy, is due to the egg you add to the matzo meal. I've tried a TON of different ways to replace that egg and failed on multiple occasions, but was thrilled when I stumbled upon this method. FLAX SEEDS! Why didn't I think of that?! These babies saved my life so I can now enjoy that bowl of matzo ball soup I love so much. They aren't as fluffy or grow as large when simmering, but they still have the same flavor and texture. Wahoo!
Whether you've had this or not, I hope you'll give this simple & delightful recipe a try. I've introduced this to Ryan when he moved to NY (he's never even heard of Matzo Ball soup before!) and he loves it as much as me. It's seriously super easy and you won't believe how quick dinner is made. Perfect for a week night dinner :)
This recipe is dedicated to my one of a kind amazing Grandma. She really is the best, and I'm so grateful that she teaches me all the yummiest & traditional meals. Enjoy! Xo Sam
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 8 cups of water or broth*
- 1/2 cup of matzo meal
- 1 1/2 tsp of ground flax seed + 1/2 cup of warm water
- 3 carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- handful of white mushrooms, diced
- Bunch of fresh dill (approx. 1/2 cup, but the more the better!)
- Pinch of dried rosemary + thyme
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pasta to serve (optional, but yummy)
PREPARE: Begin by chopping all those veggies up! In a small dish, add the flax seed with warm water, mix well & let sit for 5 minutes. Once it's been sitting, you can add in the matzo meal + a pinch of salt, and mix to combine. Roll into small 1-2 inch balls (should have about 6-7 matzo balls!) and set aside.
COOK: In a large pot over medium heat, add a small gulp of olive oil. Once hot, toss in the carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and a pinch of some salt. Saute until softened- about 10 minutes here. Towards the end, toss in a pinch of some rosemary and thyme. MMM the smells. NOW, add in the water/broth and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, and once boiling, add in the bunch of fresh dill. If using a bullion cube or 2, chuck that in. If using the broth powder (from the matzo ball box), toss that in here. IF not using broth and only water, you're going to let this cook for longer so you get a nice homemade broth from scratch. It'll just take a bit longer, and require some more salt :)
MATZO!: Once your water is boiling, I like to let my veggie broth cook for just a few minutes so its all incorporated and dissolved (see notes below). Now, while it's boiling, drop in carefully the matzo balls one by one. Once they float to the top (which should be almost immediately), reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes with lid on secured. At this point, make your pasta in a separate pot! Once your soup is done simmering, taste to adjust with some salt & pepper, and toss in some noodles. SO. GOOD. And just like Grandmas's :)
*Notes: So, confession- I really prefer to use the box mix for the packet for the broth base powder (like Streits or Manischewitz) (both totally vegan). Basically, you just get a packet of matzo meal & a packet of bullion powder. I just realllllly like the flavor of the broth that comes with this mixture verse a veggie bullion cube. BUT, if I had more time, I would have just simmered the veggies longer before adding my matzo balls, to make my own broth. Either way, it's OK! And the matzo meal is just standard, so you can also buy this in a larger container on it's own. OH! And if you want more matzo balls, just double the recipe of the flax seed + water + matzo meal. Vooooila!