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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Things to do with beets

MOROCCAN BEET SALAD. I love the color of beets. It’s one of the truly dramatic culinary colors. Of course, I shared with you my MOROCCAN BEET SALAD 

Moroccan Beet Salad
Moroccan Beet Salad

BEET HUMMUS. Now try my HUMMUSbut halve the recipe, then replace at least 1 cup of the cooked chickpeas with cooked, cooled, cut up beets. You can also use white beans instead of the chickpeas in this recipe, but then…it wouldn’t be Hummus (Hummus means “chickpeas”).



BEET SOUP. Now I don’t happen to have a picture or an exact recipe for this next one but will sometime soon. On the other hand, you probably don’t need a recipe — it’s so easy! Beet Soup. Yum, and oh, so gorgeous. Peel the beets, cut into chunks and put in a pot with chunks of onion and perhaps a little peeled fresh ginger root if desired. Barely cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer until beets are tender.  Blend all in a high-powered blender until it’s small and a beautiful magenta color. For seasonings, I usually use one TB salt to a gallon of soup, but for this one, keep the salt very light so you can enjoy the sweetness of the beets. I also add about 1 tsp. Szeged Hot Paprika for every TB of salt — but here, too, just add to suit your taste, especially if you used a little ginger.  Serve hot or cold.

BEET CHIPS. Peel and slice raw beets thinly. Brush with extra virgin olive oil and place on a baking pan. Roast at 450 degree until crisp. Salt if desired, or enjoy sweet, as they are.

Raw Vegan Beet Cashew Cake from Amanda at
Raw Vegan Beet Cashew Cake from Amanda at

RAW VEGAN BEET CASHEW CAKE. I found this recipe on Pinterest from Haven’t tried it yet but will sometime soon. The color is so extraordinary. Make the crust with 1 cup dates and 1/2 cup almonds. Blend together and spread into a 6-7″ round pan. For the cake, soak 2 cups cashews for 2 hours and place in a high-powered blender. Add 1 beet, peeled and cut up, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 TB fresh lemon juice and 2 TB water. Blend ’til smooth. Pour into pan over crust. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Check out my big recipe files of Pins on Pinterest, lots more Beet ideas — LeslieCooks.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Moroccan Beet Salad

Moroccan Beet Salad
Moroccan Beet Salad

Love ’em or hate ’em, that’s beets! It’s one of those veggies that inspires extreme reactions. Even people who came into the cafe and said they hated beets loved this Moroccan Beet Salad, though. With its deep color, it’s a beautiful and appetizing addition to any meal, and the natural sweetness of the beets combined with classical Middle Eastern seasonings makes this root vegetable into something very special.

Boiled and peeled beets cut in a julienne.
Boiled and peeled beets cut in a julienne.


  • Beets, 6 large
  • Red onion, 1/4 large (3 oz.)
  • Lemon, 2 lemons, juiced (about 4 TB)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 6 TB (if you must refrigerate before eating, use canola oil so it doesn’t solidify)
  • Salt, 2 tsp. (to taste)
  • Cumin, 2 tsp.
  • Szeged Hot Paprika, 1-2 tsp. (to taste)
  • Cilantro, 1/4-1/2 cup chopped


  1. Place whole, unpeeled beets in water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until done. Don’t over-cook, but you should be able to pierce the beets easily with a fork.
  2. Cool the beets in the cooking juices and rub off the skins.
  3. Julienne the beets.
  4. Add olive oil, lemon juice, spices.
  5. Slice onions thinly into the bowl with the beets, 1″-2″ long slices.
  6. Add chopped cilantro to the bowl.
  7. Stir all together gently, adding lemon, salt and hot paprika to taste.
Julienned beets with added red onion and cilantro.
Julienned beets with added red onion and cilantro.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.