Lamb Kubbeh in Beet Soup

For the soup:

5 beets, peeled and chopped
2 medium red onions, medium, roughly chopped
Quarter cup of olive oil
About 8 cups of stock of your choice (I used 1 cup of Fleischer’s 3-day lamb reduction, plus 7 cups of water, and added more water as needed)
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon, ideally fresh ground
Half a teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of black pepper
salt to taste
2 tablespoons honey
Juice from 2 lemons, plus more to taste

In a large saucepan, cook the onions and beets with olive oil over medium heat until the onions start to soften. Add the garlic and stir until the onion is translucent, roughly 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then simmer. Add salt and pepper, spices, and lemon juice, and reserve 2 cups of liquid for dumplings. Then, using an immersion blender or a blender, puree soup and return to a boil. Add water as needed.

For the dumplings and filling:

Half a cup of bulgur (the finer, the better)
1 cup of semolina
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
half pound of lamb (beef is traditional, but lamb feels at least as Mediterranean)
1/8 cup sliced cilantro
8 leaves of mint, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and coriander

Combine the semolina and the bulgur in a bowl and add the 2 cups of soup. Allow to soak for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the meat and spices in another bowl. Fill a bowl with cold water. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 inches in diameter, flatten into a disk, and put in about a tablespoon of the meat mixture. Wrap it around in your hand to seal it, adding water and filling in as needed. If you can refrigerate the balls ahead of time they’re likely to stick together better; some recipes call for freezing but I found no appreciable difference. Drop balls carefully into boiling soup and cook for at least 15 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Serve warm with mint and additional lemon.

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