Prep Cook Yield Ready In
15 minutes 1 hour 20 minutes 6-8 1 hour 35 minutes

Kubbeh Selek (Beet Soup with Meat-Filled Dumplings)

Pure comfort food.

This dish is beloved in the Kurdish and Iraqi Jewish communities, and it’s easy to see why. Semolina dumplings are stuffed with seasoned ground beef then gently simmered in a beet-based broth. Pure comfort food.


For the dough:

  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

For the filling:

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1lb ground beef
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp baharat spice (can substitute ½ tsp each of black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the soup: 

  • 5 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups chopped celery
  • 4 beets, peeled, sliced in eighths
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • chopped parsley and dill, to garnish


  1. Start by making the dough. In a medium bowl mix the semolina, oil, and salt. Add the water and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. Then make the filling. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the meat and cook while breaking it apart, for several minutes. Add the parsley, garlic, baharat, salt, and pepper and cook until the meat is browned. Drain most of the oil from the pan and set aside to cool. 
  3. Take the dough and pinch apart small balls about half the size of a golf ball. Roll it out into flat, thin rounds. Place a little less than a Tbsp meat in the center of the dough and bring the sides around it and pinch to seal. Pick it up and roll it in your hands a bit to form into a smooth ball. Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator until ready to place in the soup.
  4.  Using a large soup pot so that the kubbeh do not stick together, heat the canola oil over medium heat and then sauté the onion until translucent but not browned. Add the beets and celery and mix. Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Gently add the kubbeh to the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and dill. Serve hot.

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