Shishbarak Soup with Kefir Milk (With Dumplings or Tortellini)

Shishbarak Soup with Kefir Milk (With Dumplings or Tortellini)

Shishbarak is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, particularly popular in Lebanon. It features small meat-filled dumplings in a delicious yogurt-based broth. Here's how to make Shishbarak soup with kefir milk:


**For the Dumplings (Option 1):**

- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Water (as needed)
- 1/2 pound of ground beef or lamb
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
- Salt and pepper to taste

**For the Soup:**

- 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups of kefir milk
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (dissolved in a little water)
- Salt and pepper to taste

**For the Tortellini (Option 2):**

- 1 package of tortellini pasta (your preferred flavor)


**Making the Dumplings (Option 1):**

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add water while stirring until the mixture forms a soft, smooth dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it's elastic.

2. Roll the dough into a thin sheet on a floured surface. Use a small round cookie cutter or the mouth of a glass to cut out small circles, about 1 inch in diameter.

3. Place a small amount of the meat filling (about 1/2 teaspoon) in the center of each dough circle. Fold the dough in half to make a half-moon shape and pinch the edges to seal the dumplings. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

**Preparing the Filling (Option 1):**

1. In a bowl, combine the ground meat, chopped onion, allspice, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

**Cooking the Dumplings (Option 1):**

1. In a large pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil.

2. Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling broth. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through and float to the surface.

**Making the Broth (Common for Both Options):**

1. In a separate pot, combine the kefir milk, minced garlic, and cornstarch mixture dissolved in water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to bring it to a boil to prevent curdling.

**Cooking the Tortellini (Option 2):**

1. In a large pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil.

2. Add the tortellini pasta to the boiling broth and cook them according to the package instructions until they are al dente, typically for about 5-10 minutes.

**Finishing the Soup (Common for Both Options):**

1. Once the dumplings (Option 1) or tortellini (Option 2) are cooked, add the thickened kefir milk mixture to the soup pot. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes while stirring gently.

2. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

3. Serve the Shishbarak soup hot, garnished with fresh mint or parsley if desired.

Enjoy your delicious Shishbarak soup with kefir milk, with your choice of dumplings or tortellini!

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