Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I cannot stand The Big Bang Theory, I mean, it makes me literally angry when I hear the theme song. It's bad. That said, I am of a certain age where I know Mayim Bialik from another popular show called Blossom and Blossom was kinda cool back then. Kinda...
ANYHOO! She published a cookbook called Mayim's Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours, and though I've yet to pick it up, I did spy her recipe for Matzah Ball Soup in Vegetarians Times' April/May 2014 issue last spring and couldn't wait to try it! It was crazy good but too damn salty (that's sayin' something coming from me) so I shelved it for a bit.
Fast-forward to yesterday. It was long and exhausting and all I wanted was a hot bowl of comforting matzo ball soup! After a brief freak out when I couldn't remember which issue the recipe was in, I found it! Hooray! After looking it over and swapping out a few things for others, I got to it. The results were perfect! It was exactly what I wanted and exactly how I remember it tasting all those years ago.
I'm posting my version of her recipe with notes of the changes I've made, making it slightly healthier by reducing the "butter by half and replacing the oil with a few spritzes of o.o. spray, as well as using organic...well...nearly everything. Some things you can get by with using conventional, but never tofu, celery or carrots. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I'm super excited I'll always know where to find the recipe from now on!
For the balls:
1 10-14 oz. block Organic firm sprouted tofu (I use Wildwood)
1/4 C Canola oil
Egg replacer, equivalent to 2 eggs + 2 TBSP water
1-1/2 C Matzo meal (She calls for 1 box/2 packets matzo ball mix which is WAY too salty for me)
1 heaping tsp dried dill (like, heaping)
1-2 tsp fresh chopped parsley or 1 big pinch dried
1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
Chopped fresh dill (optional, but delicious...even with the dried already in there)
For the soup:
1 TBSP Organic Earth Balance or another vegan butter
1 Large carrot, sliced thinly and divided (My mandoline came in handy here)
2-3 Stalks celery, sliced thinly, but not too thin, divided
1/2 Medium white or yellow onion, chopped and divided
2 TBSP Low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (I use San-J organic)
2 TBSP Onion powder
1 TBSP Garlic powder
2 TBSP Nooch (nutritional yeast)
1 TBSP Coconut sugar or palm sugar (something dark)
1 TBSP Seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (I omitted poultry seasoning here)
Olive oil spray for sautéing
Pinch of salt
Chopped flat-leaf parsley and/or fresh dill for garnish
To make the matzo balls:
Pulse the tofu and canola oil in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Add egg replacer and water and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the matzo meal, dill and parsley and blend well. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour. 6 hours to overnight is recommended, but if you don't have that kind of time, an hour is totally enough.
Once the dough is ready, wet hands and roll mixture into 12 golf ball-sized balls. Place back in the bowl and stick 'em back in the fridge while the broth is cooking.
To make the soup:
Heat your vegan butter in medium-to-large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 of each: carrots, celery, onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté 4-6 minutes. Add 8 cups water, tamari, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, nooch, coconut sugar and Old Bay. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it though. My stove runs hot, so I end up turning it way down after 10 minutes.
Strain broth into another stockpot or large saucepan and discard/compost the solids. Keep warm.
Over medium heat, spray your large stockpot with a bit of olive oil and add the remaining carrots, celery and onions along with another dash of salt. Sauté 4-6 minutes. Add the broth back to the pot and bring to a boil. Carefully drop the balls into the pot and turn down the heat to medium-low or low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cut parsley and be prepared to be transported to back east as you savor your steaming bowl of cruelty-free Matzo Ball soup!