Yemenite Beef Soup


by Susie Fishbein, Kosher by Design Cooking Coach

Hawaij is a flavorful Middle Eastern spice mixture. It is delicious but not fiery; a basic version contains cumin, cardamon, turmeric, coriander, and black pepper. You can buy it at any well–stocked kosher supermarket or on the internet. If you have time, refrigerate the soup overnight. Before you reheat the soup, remove the solidified layer of fat from the top. Serve with fresh, thick pita bread, to complete your meal in a bowl


3 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds beef marrow bones
1-1/2 pounds cubed shell roast or beef stew meat
1 onion, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons hawaij, a Yemenite spice mixture*
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 carrots, peeled, cut into thick rounds
6 cups chicken stock
2 large or 3 small russet potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the beef marrow bones. Stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef cubes, cover, and cook for 10 minutes longer, until there is some brown coloring on both the bones and the meat.

Uncover the pot and add the onion and garlic: cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the hawaij. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, coating the meat and bones. Cook for 3-4 minutes to deepen the tomato flavor. Add the carrots and stock. Cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and cook, simmering for 1 hour. Skim off any foam or fat.

Add the potatoes. Cover and cook for an additional hour.

Discard the bones. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

If there is time, refrigerate overnight to deepen flavors.


Yield: 8-10 servings

*KosherEye note: If you can’t find hawaij and wish to make your own blend, we are providing a recipe from the NY Times: 

Hawaij (Yemenite Spice Blend)

1/4 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

In a black iron or heavy–bottomed skillet combine the cumin, cardamom, turmeric and coriander. Place over very low heat and toast, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the black pepper and stir well. Store the blend in a tightly sealed container for up to one month.

Rub hawaij liberally into fish, chicken, lamb, pork or beef one hour before cooking.

Yield: About 3/4 cup

Recipes: Soup, Beef, Yemenite Spice Blend, Kosher

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