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.
Sephardic-Style Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
- 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; stir together. 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 3 to 4 matzo balls each bowl.
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.