Yemenite High Holiday Soup Stew

It's a marathon to make this soup; with its myriad of different ingredients that need chopping and cleaning and the time it takes to cook you should definitely reserve this recipe for a special occasion! Do try it though as it is very tasty and heart-warming!

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3 pieces beef marrow bone (about 2 lb).
1 3-lb chicken
3 lb beef shoulder, ribs, or stew meat (fat removed), left whole or cut into pieces
5 quarts water (about)
10 - 12 cloves garlic, separated but unpeeled
2 large onions or 9 small white onions
1 large white turnip
4 leeks or green onions
3 celery stalks
1 medium zucchini or acorn squash
3 medium carrots
1 large tomato
3 potatoes
1 small bunch parsley or fresh coriander
salt to taste
1 tbsp hawaij spice combinations or to taste


  • Trim the woody stems
  • Peel and dice the potatoes
  • Almost quarter the tomatoes but do not cut apart at bottom
  • ut the carrots in 3-inch slices
  • Cube the acorn squash or slice the zucchini
  • Cut the celery in 2-inch pieces
  • Coarsley cut the spring onion or leek
  • Quarter the unpeeled turnip
  • Peel and quarter the large onions or jsut peel the small ones
  • Prepare the meat - piece and clean

1. In a large casserole, place the beef marrow bones and chicken with water to cover. Bring to a boil, simmering until a froth forms.

2. Remove the meat and bones and discard the water. Clean the casserole.

3. Now add only the beef and bones and cover with water. Bring to a boil again, lower the heat, and add the unpeeled garlic cloves. (By being left unpeeled, they won't soften in cooking.)

4. Add the onions, turnip, and leeks or green onions. Cook, covered, about 1½ hours, or until the meat seems relatively tender.

5. Remove the marrow bones, add the chicken, cover, and simmer another 20 minutes. Cook and leave as is overnight.

6. Before serving, skim off the fat and add the celery, zucchini or acorn squash, carrots, tomato, and potatoes. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes.

7. Just before serving add the parsley or coriander, salt, and hawaij and cook for 10 minutes.

8. Remove garlic buds and herb stems, adjust seasonings.

9. Serve a bowl of soup to each guest. 

10. Serve with pita or a pita-type bread and helbeh. Dip the bread into the helbeh and then into the soup, scooping up the meat and vegetables and the sauce.

Note: Hawaij is essential to the cuisine of Yemen and is also very popular in Israel. In both countries it is used liberally as a rub prior to grilling meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables like eggplant. It is also used as an all purpose seasoning and may end up in just about anything from soups and stews to sauces and rice. The Beduoin of the Sinai even use it as dip (like Dukka) for fresh bread. Made from Tellicherry black pepper, caraway, cardamom, turmeric and saffron.

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