Red Kube (Beet) Soup

Kube Soup

Ingredients

Mince Meat Filling

600g (1.3 lb) minced meat

1 medium onion finely grated

3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 fresh mint leaves finely chopped

4 celery leaves finely chopped

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 teaspoon baharat spice*

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup olive oil

Soup

¼ cup olive oil

2 medium chopped red onions

6 cloves of garlic chopped or crushed

3 large beets peeled and cut into small chunks

½ kg (1 lb) pumpkin peeling and chopped into cubes

4 carrots peeled and sliced

2 zucchinis quartered and sliced

3 celery stalks sliced

Leaves of the celery washed and tied with string

Juice of two lemons

200 g tomato paste

1 teaspoon baharat spice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

4 liters water

Dough

500g (1 lb) semolina flour

300g (10 oz) ground bulgar wheat (in Israel, ask for J’rish at a spice store)

Note: If you can’t get j’rish, you can also make this with only semolina flour using 800 g.

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baharat spice

1 cup of the soup broth (no vegetables)

How to do it 

Mix all filling ingredients together

Firstly, don’t be intimidated! Secondly, plan ahead.

The meat filling

1.Place all meat filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Make small balls out of the meat mixture of about one heaped teaspoon each and place them on the tray. Cover and freeze until solid (at least 2 hours).

Make small balls of meat and freeze

The soup

1. In a very large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the red onions until just soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute

2.Add the beets and carrots and saute for another few minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and the water and cook for 5 minutes. Then take one cup of the liquid and set it aside to use in the dough.

3. Add the lemon juice, baharat spice, salt, sugar and celery leaves to the pot. Bring to the boil and lower the heat, simmering for 20 minutes. Taste and add seasoning if required.

4. Decant about 1 liter of the soup into a separate bowl and set aside – you will add this back into the soup before serving.

Note: You can make the soup ahead of time and refrigerate.

The dough

Place a meat ball in the middle of a flattened piece of dough

1. In a large bowl, mix the semolina, j’rish, baharat spice and salt till combined.

2. Add the soup broth and mix until you have an soft but elastic dough. If required, add a little water until you get to a dough that is workable.

3. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes covered.

The kube

1. Remove the meat balls from the freezer.

Wrap the dough closely around the meat ball and pinch together to seal

2. Take about a tablespoon of the dough in your hands and flatten the dough so that it’s about 2-3 mm thick (1/10 inch).

3. Place a meat ball in the middle of your piece of dough and wrap the dough around the ball, closing it up and pinching off any excess dough. Make sure there are no gaps between the dough and the meat or the balls will open up when cooking. Seal any ragged edged with a few drops of water and smooth the surface. If the dough gets too dry, you can knead in some extra water. (This should yield about 30 balls)

Kube made and ready to cook (and looking a lot like kneidlach!)

4. Bring the soup in the pot (without the liter you’ve decanted) to the boil. Carefully drop the kube balls into the soup. Once all the balls are in the pot, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an hour.

5. If you are serving the soup immediately, then add the extra broth just before you serve and heat it in the pot. If you are preparing the soup ahead of time, then keep the extra broth separate until you are ready to reheat the soup. Reheat the soup till hot in a covered pot, and then add the decanted broth and reheat it. The kube absorbs a lot of the liquid during the cooking process.

Tastes even better than it looks

Serves 12-14

*Baharat is a spice mix used in Middle Eastern cuisine to season meat and soups. In Israel, you can buy it at any spice store. Outside of Israel, you may be able to find it in specialty stores. If not, you can make your own baharat mix from the following: 4 parts black pepper; 3 parts coriander seeds; 3 parts cinnamon; 3 parts cloves; 4 parts cumin seeds; 1 part cardamom pods; 3 parts nutmeg; 6 parts paprika

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