Sephardic-Style Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo balls aren’t always a part of the Sephardic tradition, but a Turkish friend remembers them from his childhood Seders. No matter where you’re from, the Passover Seder doesn’t seem complete without matzo ball soup. Here’s a Sephardic-inspired matzo ball soup that’s completely vegan. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Serves: 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 large or 3 medium leeks, white and palest green parts only,
halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 medium stalks celery, diced
- 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced
- 8 cups vegetable stock or water, or a combination (see note)
- 2 medium white turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegan Matzo Balls
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and leeks; sauté over medium-low heat until the leeks are limp, about 8 minutes.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, stock, paprika, and cumin; mix well. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently, cover, until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
Add the turnips and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer 10 minutes longer.
Let stand off the heat for several hours or overnight in refrigerator to develop flavor. Reheat before serving. Serve with matzo balls.
Note: You can use 8 cups homemade vegetable broth, two 32-ounce containers low-sodium vegetable broth, or one 32-ounce container low-sodium vegetable broth plus 4 cups water plus 1 or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes.