I miss the rich flavor that only meat can bring to a dish. Anyone who has tried to make meatless versions of classic recipes know the frustration that can bring. My husband and I have been experimenting with meatless home-style dishes for a while and I decided to share this recipe with you because we've decided that it totally "scratches the itch" when you want some matzo ball soup.
Faux Chicken Broth
1Lb Soft Tofu
5 celery stalks
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbps of butter
Better Than Bouillon, No Chicken Base
2 large springs of fresh thyme
5 bay leaves
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Grate the carrots, dice the onions, and thinly cut the celery (we use a mandolin to get it paper thin).
In a large soup pot on medium heat, melt the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and celery and cook until the onions start looking transparent. Press the garlic and add it along with the shredded carrots. Let that cook together for a couple minutes and then add a heaping tablespoon of the No Chicken Base. Let this cook on medium heat while you pick the thyme leaves off the stalks and add them to the pot with the bay leaves. Stir that up well and then add about 5 cups of water.
Get the broth up to just before boiling and then keep it simmering while you add a tablespoon of No Chicken Base at a time. Keep tasting and adding until it is to your liking. Now it's time to crumble the tofu into the broth. We like to crumble it into really small bits, but do it to your taste.
This is when the broth is ready to add the matzo balls you pre-made and are chilling in the freezer. Make it easy on yourself, buy this kit. It makes them so effortlessly. We have made them more "from scratch" and they really weren't any different. One thing we do is add an entire grated carrot into the mix right before we form the balls. I love the look of those orange flecks in the matzo balls.
Cook the matzo balls directly in the broth for the time called for on the matzo ball package. Delicious.