I’m craving soup. Here’s a hearty vegetarian version of traditional matzoh ball soup. I modified it from an onion/mushroom soup recipe that my mother used to make when I was a kid.

For the matzoh balls:
1 packet matzoh ball mix – I use Manischewitz
2 T black truffle oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 tsp. onion flakes
pepper to taste
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute

For the soup base:
1 large onion chopped fine
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 carrot
1/2 cup red wine – always cook with wine that you would drink yourself. In fact have some now!
1 T. olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms – any variety.
1 box prepared vegetable broth – preferably organic
4 cups of water
1 T herbes de provence
1 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. spicy Mrs. Dash
1/2 cup organic barley
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Meat option: If you want to add meat, feel free to add a cup of shredded cooked chicken when you add the matzoh balls to the soup.

Coat the bottom of a large french over or stock pot with the olive oil. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium low heat until
the carrots are soft and the onions start to brown – about 12 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, make the matzoh ball mix according to the directions on the box.
I like to substitute black truffle oil for the vegetable oil, and egg substitute for whole eggs. Add the onion flakes and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate.

Add the mushrooms, wine & herbes de provence and continue cooking until the wine has absorbed into the vegetables.

When the wine has absorbed, add the vegetable broth, water, tomato paste, cayenne and Mrs. Dash. Bring to a boil.

Add the barley to the boiling water, stir.

Remove the matzoh ball mix from the fridge. Wet your hands so the mix doesn’t stick to them, and form the mixture into 1 inch balls.
Plop the balls into the boiling water. The water MUST be boiling or the matzoh balls will be hard in the middle.

Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium/high so that it doesn’t boil over.
Cook for 30 minutes or until the barley is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve two matzoh balls per person. Top each bowl with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.


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