Marak Kubbeh Adom (Beet Soup with Meat-filled Dumplings)


meat filling:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon ras al hanout, paprika or baharat
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

dumpling dough:
4 cups coarse semolina (not flour)*
2 cups water

for the soup:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 medium-large roasted beets, cut into wedges
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
2 small yellow squash, cubed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
juice of one lemon


for the filling:
This can be made the day before (or morning of) and refrigerated.  Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the beef and cook, breaking up any large pieces with a spoon, until nearly fully cooked. Stir in spices and parsley. Cook until the beef is fully cooked. Drain off excess fat if needed.

for the dumplings:
In a medium bowl, whisk the water in the semolina. Allow to sit until the semolina absorbs all of the water. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Flatten in the palm of your hand. Place a small amount of filling in the middle and fold the sides to make a round, filled dumpling. Place on a platter until ready to use.

for the soup:
Saute the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the celery, carrot, squash and beets. Saute 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Meanwhile, bring the stock and tomato paste to a boil. Add the vegetables and simmer 20 minutes or until they are tender. Stir in the lemon juice. Add as many dumplings can fit without crowding.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tip: Freeze leftover dumplings (kubbeh) in a single layer on a sheet pan. Then place in a freezer safe container. Add them frozen to the soup the next time you make it.

*I found this very cheaply at a local Italian grocery.

My thoughts:

Over the last few weeks I’ve become obsessed with the Israeli TV show, Srugim, about four single 30-something modern Orthodox friends who are looking to get married. It is really good! Seasons 1 & 2 are available for streaming on Amazon (for free, if you have Prime) and season 3 is available on Hulu. Anyway, there is a ton of cooking on this show and I swear one of the characters, Yifat, makes this soup at least six times during the first season. After seeing it so much, I had to make it myself. I’m glad I did because it was so good! I will admit, it is quite time-consuming, but I did a few things that made work easier for myself.  I seasoned and browned the meat the morning the day I was going to make the soup (I work from home so that is easy for me, alternatively, make and refrigerate it the day before). I also chopped up the onions and garlic and places them in one container in the fridge. I cut up the rest of the vegetables and refrigerated them also. Then, when it was time to make the soup, I just had to saute the vegetables and then boil the soup while I made the dumplings. This way I wasn’t trying to keep track of the vegetables and the beef at the same time and the beef was already cool enough to handle for dumpling making. You can do it all at once (like I shared above) but especially if it is your first time making this, it is worth it to do some work ahead of time. Oh! And I used roasted beets which really cut down on the vegetable sauteing time. It is really worth the effort, is it slightly sweet, slightly sour and very savory. It is even better the next day! I’m totally adding to my rotation of favorite soups.

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