Kubbeh in Beet Soup


This recipe is one of the beloved kubbeh dishes in traditional Jewish Iraqi cuisine. Iraqi jews pronounce it Kubbah. I’ve had it a few times in Israel, at friends’ houses or in restaurants, but never made it myself until now. I’ve made other kubbeh dishes that I’ve learned to make from my grandma and mama. The process is very similar. The difference, really, is the filling, and the soup in which the dumplings cook.

Just like many other great Middle-Eastern recipes, this is a multi-step, involved dish. The result, though, is so worth the effort!


For the dough:
One portion of kubbeh – Middle Eastern Dumplings recipe

For the filling:
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion peeled and quartered
2 cups parsley leaves
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon baharat for cooking (check out recipe or buy in Middle-Eastern stores)

For the Soup:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium beets
1 tablespoon chicken soup powder
6 cups water
½ tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons sugar
1 flat teaspoon citric acid or lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Iraqi beet koube soup filling


To make the filling, place the onion and the parsley in a food processor and mince them. Transfer to a medium size bowl. Add the meat and the spices and knead well to incorporate all the ingredients. Make tiny balls out of the meat mixture, and place them on a tray. The balls will be used later to fill in the dough, to create the koube dumplings. Last time I made koube, I had some leftovers of the meat mixture. I used that to make delicious beef croquettes.

In the meantime, make the soup. In a large soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions. Cut the beets into quarters, place in a food processor and puree them. Alternatively, you may quarter the beets and slice them into thins slices. Add the beets to the pot and stir well. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, make the kubbeh balls according to instructions in the Kubbeh – Middle Eastern Dumplings recipe, using the above meat filling.

Back to the soup, add the tomato paste and the spices, and stir well. Very gently, add in the koube balls, moving them gently occasionally, using a wooden spoon, to make room for more koube balls to be added.

Iraqi beet koube placed into soup


Once you have all the dumplings in the soup, cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

Iraqi beet koube balls in pot

Bon Appetit!



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