Red Kubbe Soup

I am a sucker for any kind of dumpling. Name the culture, if they have a version of a dumpling, I love it. From kreplach to dim sum, from ravioli to pierogi, fill some dough and serve it to me and I'll be in heaven. So it's actually surprising that it has taken me so long to make these Middle Eastern dumplings called kubbe. Different countries across the Middle East make their own versions but the basic premise is the same- a semolina dough filled with a seasoned ground meat mixture boiled in a vegetable soup. The soup itself varies, some serve their kubbe in a hot beet soup, some in a clear vegetable soup and some in a tomato based soup. After reading numerous recipes I came up with my own combination. Beets may sound strange to add but they add a delicious earthiness. You can change the vegetables to your liking and use chicken, beef or vegetable stock- I used beef stock to add richness and to compliment the beef filled dumplings. The soup was rich ,delicious, and hearty from the chunks of vegetables and dumplings, practically a meal unto itself. I served it with some Moroccan bread and it hit the spot.  Enjoy!

For the Kubbe:
1 1/2 cups semolina flour (solet in Hebrew)
1 cup water
2 tsp oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 pound ground beef or chicken
one small onion, finely diced
2 Tbl finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Mix the semolina, water, oil and salt together in a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and pliable but not too wet and sticky. Mix the ground beef with the onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Take small portions of the dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Put a small amount of filling in the center and pinch the dough closed around the filling. Refrigerate until ready to cook in the soup.

2 Tablespoons oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into large slices
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small piece of pumpkin, cut into chunks
10 cups of beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of 22x tomato paste (in America you can use a small can of tomato paste)
2 cups roughly chopped kale or swiss chard or beet greens
2 tsp sugar
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the sweet potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, beets, and kale and saute another two minutes and then add the stock and tomato paste, sugar, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for half an hour. Add the kubbe to the simmering soup and cook for another half an hour.


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