My Autumn Kubbeh Soup

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Kubbeh – one of my favorite foods ever! There are many different kinds of kubbeh, and they are all delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had kubbeh that I didn’t care for (and I’ve tried many kinds).

The following recipe was created in my kitchen, inspired by classic sweet, savory, and sour kubbeh soups, and is perfect for the fall and the Jewish High Holidays season. I came up with a sweet and sour vegetable soup to which I added a quince (used a lot in Persian cuisine). I used the same techniques as the ones for traditional kubbeh making and cooking, but the ingredients and the flavor are a little different than the classic kubbeh dishes.

mish mash koube

Doron, my hubby, says this kubbeh version is his favorite. unfortunately for him, here in Florida I don’t make it very often. It’s too hot here for this kind of food. If you live in colder areas around the globe, though, you may want to give it a try. Just make sure you give yourself enough time. If you are a novice, it will probably take you some time to get good at filling and rolling the kubbeh dumplings. But even if you are a pro in the kitchen, it will take you about 30 minutes to fill and roll the dumplings. Not to mention you still have to make the soup and the filling for the dumplings. My advice – plan to make this recipe during the weekend when you are not in a rush to eat or to do something else. Another option is to make the filling ahead of time and keep it frozen or refrigerated until you are ready to make the dumplings. You may also save time by chopping the vegetables for the soup the day before and keep them refrigerated. Then all you have to do the day of is assemble the soup and roll the dumplings.

Ingredients:
For the filling:
1 tbs vegetable oil
1lb ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon baharat for cooking (also found in Middle-Eastern stores)

For the dough:
2 ½ cups (500g) coarse semolina (found in Middle Eastern stores)
1/2 cup (100ml) vegetable oil
3 slices of bread without the crust
1 cup (240ml) water
1 teaspoon salt

For the Soup:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped thinly
2 medium carrots diced into ½” cubes
1 large quince diced into ½” cubes
2 celery stalks sliced into ¼” slices (add some chopped leaves as well)
6 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chicken soup powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ – ½ flat teaspoon citric acid, or lemon juice from 1 lemon

Preparation:
Put one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan.
Add ground beef and cook until meat is almost fully cooked. Use a wooden spoon to break any meat lumps.
Add the spices, mix well and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside. The filling can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated.

Make the dough according to the recipe Kubbeh – Middle Eastern Dumplings, and let it rest before making the dumplings. In the meantime, make the soup.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions.
Add the celery, carrots, and quince and sweat to extract the flavors of the veggies.
Add water, tomato paste, and spices except the citric acid.
Bring the soup to a boil, than lower the heat and simmer on medium low heat for about 30 minutes.

While soup is simmering, make the kubbeh dumplings, using the step by step instructions shown in the recipe Kubbeh – Middle Eastern Dumplings.

Back to the soup, add ¼ tsp of the citric acid and taste the soup. The flavor should be sweet and sour, but not overly sweet nor sour. If needed, add ¼ additional teaspoon of the citric acid.

Word of caution – citric acid is very dominant and powerful when added to food. You only need a tiny bit of it, so be super careful with the quantities.

Very gently, add the kubbeh balls into the soup, moving them gently occasionally, using a wooden spoon, to make room for more koube balls to be added. Once you have all the balls in the soup, cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

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