For many people pumpkin brings feelings or memories of the winter and fall. This vegetable is known to be consumed mostly around Thanksgiving and the end of the year. For me however, pumpkin is a vegetable that I cook all year long. It is one of the most decedent foods I grew up on. Whenever I see a nice pumpkin at the farmers market I just grab it. Even if I still don’t know what exactly I’m going to cook with it. Kuba Pumpkin Soup is one of the best and delicious ways my mom uses it. So that was my first option in mind. Her kuba is from ground beef of course. But I was able to bring almost, all the same flavors of home with my ground beef substitute. The combination of the sauce, pumpkin and kuba together is really special. It takes a few steps and time to get the dish to the plate but its worth every second. Make this pot a memory for your family. Enjoy.
For the soup:
For the filling:
For the dough:
1). Start by preparing the filling: Heat up oil in a big skillet, add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the “meatless ground beef” mix for about 2-3 minutes, add the carrots and spices. Continue mixing and eventually add the chopped parsley. Turn off the flame and let it cool completely!
2). Now start the soup by placing the onion and celery into the pot, sauté for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and tomato. Stir for a minute. Add the spices, mix and add the pumpkin chucks. Now add water to the point as if you are making a very big pot of soup. Put the tomato paste, mix and bring to a boil.
3). Now that the soup is working, combine all the dough ingredients, knead well, cover with a plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
4). Prepare a “station”: The filling, a teaspoon to work with, a small bowl of water to wet your hands, the dough, and an oiled tray to lay the kuba balls.
5). Start separating medium sized chunks/ round ball shapes of dough and place them on a tray. You should get about 40 of them more or less. (I freeze 20 and use the rest, otherwise you will need a very big pot!)
6). Wet your hands, take one chuck and start opening it with your other hand, in a round motion, pressing on it to flatten it up. The dough should remain on the palm of your hand.
7). Once the piece of dough is open take 1 full teaspoon from the filling and place it in the center of the dough. Now very carefully start closing the kuba by pressing all the edges together. Once the kuba is closed start moving it between both hands to round it’s shape.
8). Now, make sure your soup is hot and simmering but not boiling! Adjust the flavors for kuba spice, salt and pepper.
9). Now you have the option to put the kuba in the soup, one by one, as you go, or to finish stuffing all of them and only then put them in the soup. Make sure you work with wet hands so the stuffing and shaping process is easier.
10). Whichever way you choose, once you insert the kuba , do not mix the soup for at least 5 minutes so the balls don’t break apart.
11). With a wooden spoon gently move the kuba around. Continue cooking on medium-low for another 20-30 minutes and turn off the flame.
12). Vegan Kuba is ready to serve. Put 2-3 kuba balls with a generous amount of soup and pumpkin and serve hot.