Iraqi-Jewish Beet Soup with Kubbeh (Marak Kubbeh Adom)

Marak Kubbeh Adom – Iraqi Jewish Beet Soup with Kubbeh

I found this recipe as I find so many wonderful ideas in Pinterest. I was going to leave out the sugar since I never use any, but the beets were a little older and not as sweet as I like them, so I just followed the recipe, which makes a slightly sweet and sour soup. Dumplings were a bit firm. I’ll want to experiment with that a little next time.

Soup Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup or to cover the bottom of the pot
  • Garlic, 4 cloves minced or 1 TB
  • Beets, 5-6 large peeled, roughly chopped
  • Tomato paste or puree, 4 TB
  • Sweet paprika, 2 TB
  • Salt, 2 tsp.
  • Hot paprika, 1/2 tsp.
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Sugar, 2 TB
  • Lemon, juice of 1

Wash and prepare the veggies. Saute onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Add the roughly chopped beets and seasonings (except the sugar and lemon juice), and cook until the beets are soft. Alternatively just chunk the beets and pulse the broth with veggies and seasonings in a blender when soft. Add sugar and lemon juice at the end of cooking time, check seasoning and adjust.

Kubbeh Ingredients

  • Semolina, 4 cups
  • Water, 2 cup
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Rice, Brown Basmati, 3 cups cooked (about 1 cup dried cooked with 1 tsp. salt)
  • Mushrooms, Crimini, 1 lb. quartered and pan roasted
  • Lemon, juice of 1/2-1 squeezed, about 3 TB
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
  • Za’atar, 1-1/2 tsp. (this is what I usually use for this filling – for this particular recipe, I substituted 1 TB ras al hanout)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup

While the soup broth is cooking, prepare the Kubbeh shell with the Semolina, water and salt. Be very light with the stirring, and let the mixture sit until the water is fully absorbed. It should be soft but not sticky. Roll into good-sized balls.

For the Kubbeh filling, prepare the rice with 1 tsp. salt and some of the extra virgin olive oil. Toast the ras al hanout in a pan, then add the quartered mushrooms and pan roast them in a little more of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the mushroom mixture to a food processor with the rice, seasonings, lemon juice and a bit more of the extra virgin olive oil. Pulse mixture until gravelly throughout.

Flatten the Semolina balls, depressing in the center, and add a heaping tsp. of Kubbeh filling to the depression. Bring edges up around the filling and roll into a filled ball. When all the balls are rolled and about the same size, add to the simmering soup. Bring back to the simmer, cover, and continue to simmer until the dumplings are done. Handle the Semolina shell as little as possible while processing.

This Iraqi-Jewish beet soup was a delightful change from another favorite beet soup, for which I just cook up some peeled, chunked beets with a lot of chunked onion and some peeled, fresh ginger pieces, a very little salt and a bit of hot paprika — and run through a high-powered blender.

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Ideas? Would like to hear from you!