Spicy Vegetable Matzoh Ball Soup

Spicy Vegetable Matzoh Ball Soup

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2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 shallots, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in a 1/2" dice
1/4 tsp cloves
a few hefty pinches chile flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
12 cups vegetable or chicken broth (more, if needed)
3 small zucchini, sliced into thick half-moons
8 shiitke mushrooms
2-3 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Matzoh Balls:
3 Tbsp butter or oil
5 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp broth
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup matzoh meal


Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Saute the onions, shallots, garlic, carrots and sweet potato until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the cloves and chile flakes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

When you add the broth to the soup, prepare the matzoh balls: warm the butter or oil in a skillet over a medium heat, and cook the scallions until softened (this will just take a minute or two). Let cool somewhat. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and broth with the spices, baking powder, and matzoh meal. Add the onions and their butter/oil, and chill in the refrigerator.

Return to the soup: after the onions and such have been simmering in the broth and tomatoes for 15 minutes, add the zucchini, broccoli and shiitake mushrooms. Add more broth if needed. Simmer another 15 minutes. Take the matzoh ball dough out of the refrigerator (it will have been chilling about half an hour), and shape into small 1" balls, using either a small scoop, two spoons, or your hands (use some oil to keep it from sticking if you go this route). Plop these in the simmering soup as you shape them. Simmer another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. You want the matzoh balls to be light and puffy and cooked through, and the vegetables to be very tender. When the soup is done, season to taste, and top with the fresh basil.