Friday, December 10, 2010

Matzo Balls from the Mix!

Stock Your Pantry, Episode Three (yeah, I was kidding in the last post):

We are lazier than our parents.  Thusly, if we find a really great, amazing mix for Matzo Ball Soup (and the Matzo Balls) then we are very happy and just use that.  Or at least I do, since I don't have a Jewish momma to catch me not making it from scratch :-)  Not that I wouldn't make it from scratch.  Sometimes, I'm just looking for a time-saving recipe, and this fits the bill nicely.

The Manischewitz Matzo Ball & Soup Mix is one of the most amazing dry goods you can keep in your pantry.  If you like it, get a few boxes of the "Matzo Ball & Soup Mix" and check the box to make sure it isn't just the soup mix, or you won't get the awesome matzo meal pack, so make sure to check.

As far as I can tell from the ingredients, it is vegan and Kosher and Pareve, so, excellent.  However, the instructions tell you to use two eggs to make the matzo balls, we are going to sub the eggs with the same aseptic tofu that we used in the Triple Orange Bread Pudding.  Get a  few boxes of that aseptic tofu, especially the "firm" kind.  It is one of the most amazing, very long lasting, pantry ingredients to have on hand at all times. 

I decided to make this today because my little guy has a nasty, runny cold and he LOVES this soup.  Here are the ingredients:

Easy, Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

One box of Manischewitz Matzo Ball & Soup Mix (Did I mention this already? Surprise, surprise, they carry it at Wegmans and every other store I have ever shopped at, so many of you should be able to find it).
10 cups water
1, 12oz box of Firm Silken Tofu (I buy the Mori-Nu brand, they have it at Wegmans!!)
2-3 tablespoons of good olive oil (I am using Trader Joe's President's Reserve right now, $6 for a liter!)
3 carrots (or two if you aren't obsessed with carrots like my family is)
1/2 cup frozen peas

Other possible additions:
1/2 cup frozen corn (not my thing, but my hubby + kid like this)
1/2 cup rice or pasta (precooked and added at the end so it doesn't suck up all your delish soup)

Alrighty, we are going to modify the package directions a bit, but not much. 

The Soup:
Put the 10 cups of water plus packet #2 (the soup mix) into a medium or large stock pot just to get that out of the way.  Don't turn it on just yet.

Make the matzo ball mix: 
Unleash your aseptic tofu and regard its beauty.

Crumble roughly 3/4 of the tofu into your food processor with the olive oil and pulse until creamy, like this:

Save the other quarter (or even a bit less) of the tofu and just cube it to put into the soup at the end when you add the peas, kinda like miso soup style.  Now, put the processed tofu into a bowl and combine it with package #1 (the matzo ball mix), and mix it with a fork, to get about this consistency: 

Cover and put in your fridge for about 30 minutes. You could probably leave it in there up to overnight and it would probably be fine.

In the meantime, peel and chop your carrots, add them to the cold soup.  Now, check your email, your facebook page, and change the opera music to Dido and Aeneas.  Or kill about 15 minutes some other way.  Now, turn on the soup.  Bring it to a boil and add the peas and the cubed tofu wait again another minute or two to come back to a boil (the peas are frozen, so they cool off the water).  By the time the soup is boiling, your matzo ball mix should be cold.

Add the matzo balls to the soup (the fun part!!).  Get your handy medium oxo scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) and scoop the mix flat against the scoop, then into your hand.  Round the blob of mix into a nice ball and THEN drop it into the soup.  If you just plop it into the soup, the ball will start to disintegrate and break up (I did this with the first two, so that's why my broth has bits of broken up balls in it, all the other balls stayed together nicely).   It makes about 10 or so balls.  It is getting just a little funny to me to keep writing about balls, but ok...Plop them all in then cover tightly and turn heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes. 

And here is a nice bowl with three balls:

Ok, ok, I'll stop.  Anyhoo, Wha-la!  Easy Vegan Matzo Ball Soup.  Happy Holidays!

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