Chickpea "Matzoh" Ball Soup

I'm sososososo excited to share this recipe with you today! One of my goals is to really learn how to cook and not depend on someone else's recipe. Of course, I love cooking dishes that other people came up with (I have 6 new cookbooks to work through from Christmas...), but I think it would be really great if I could learn to throw something together with the ingredients I have on hand. Also, it would be a great way to be creative and dream up delicious dishes with all of my favorite flavors. With this recipe, I feel like I did that for the first time! I did rely on other recipes as a base for some inspiration, but I did go by instinct, experience, and just plain guessing to put this together.

Back when I was only thinking about starting a blog, I was also brainstorming what recipes I would want to take a crack at myself. One of the first things I thought of was matzoh ball soup. This is going to sound very Jewish of me, but my grandma's matzoh ball soup was the best, no contest. Unfortunately, it isn't vegan, and most matzoh ball soups aren't. Even though it can be difficult to recreate flavors, especially ones with sentimental feelings attached, I think I did a pretty good job making a reasonable substitute here. I made the dumplings without matzoh but used chickpea flour instead, boosting the protein in this recipe. Additionally, my grandma's recipe does not have any greens in it, but I stirred in some kale because dark leafy greens are really good for you! 

All of this might lead you to ask, what is right and what is wrong with regard to tradition? Aren't traditions things that we cling to because it connects us to the past and many of the things that make us who we are? I certainly think that tradition is important and special because it reminds you of people, places, and things that you love and keeps them front and center in your life. However, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. I think this recipe maintains the spirit of the original recipe, but also adds some creative flair. By sticking solely with tradition, we miss the opportunity to try new things and grow. Maybe one day I'll return to this recipe and try to make it with more familiar matzoh ball soup ingredients. In the meantime, I'm sorry if you are insulted by my take on matzoh ball soup because it is so nontraditional, but you should try it anyway because it is so good!

This recipe is super cozy for winter, and despite being nourishing and filling due to the "matzoh" balls, it is nice and light and won't leave you rolling away from the table. I hope that when you try this recipe, you'll feel all the love that went into it, from me and my grandma too!

Chickpea "Matzoh" Ball Soup (Serves 4 or 2 really hungry people)

Inspired by/Adapted from this recipe from Whole Foods and this recipe from Oh She Glows

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Chickpea "Matzoh" Balls:

1/4 c. ground flax seeds combined with 1/4 c. water to make egg-replacer

1.5 c. chickpea flour

1/2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2-3/4 c. water

Soup:

4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 c.)

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 c. carrots, chopped

1 dried bay leaf

1/2 tbsp. dried thyme

Black pepper to taste

1.5 c. kale, chopped (or another dark leafy green)

Directions:

  1. Make the flax "egg" in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix the chickpea flour, baking powder, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl. When the flax "egg" has thickened, add that to the bowl as well, and start to mix it in.
  3. Add in the water, slowly, until you end up with a sticky dough (see the first photo above as an example). The dough will be kind of annoying to work with and get stuck to your hands, but that's what should happen.
  4. Roll the dough into balls (I got 8), and preheat a pan prepared with non-stick spray or a small amount of oil.
  5. When the pan is hot, add the balls and allow them to cook, rolling and moving them around so they don't burn (mine got a little too crispy but they were still good!) Alternatively, you could try baking them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but I have not tried this method. When the dumplings are firm and the outside is toasted, they are done which could take 10-15 minutes.
  6. To make the soup, add the onion, celery, and carrots to a small pot with 1/2 c. vegetable broth, and allow the mixture to cook until the onion is translucent.
  7. Add the rest of the broth as well as the bay leaf, thyme, and pepper, and bring the pot to a boil.
  8. When the veggies are tender, lower the heat to bring the pot to a simmer, remove the bay leaf, and add the kale. When the kale is slightly wilted your soup is done!
  9. Pour the soup over the dumplings in a bowl and serve hot.

"Love is the bridge between you and everything." -Rumi