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Yemenite High Holy Day Soup recipe

“My mother-in-law remembers the kapparahtradition in Poland. Early in the morning of the day prior toYom Kippur, a fowl was whirled about her head, while she thoughtabout turning over a new leaf. Her father would whirl a rooster,her mother a hen, and her brothers and sisters a pullet or acockerel. The ceremony was repeated for each child. She was alwaysfrightened by the fluttering feathers. After the whirling, hermother would race to the shohet and have the fowls ritually slaughteredto make food for the meal before the fast. All the fowls wouldbe cooked, and any extras given to bachelor relatives or to thepoor. Chicken soup would be made for the kreplakh and the boiledchicken eaten as a mild main dish.
Yemenite Jews also eat chicken before the fast of Yom Kippur,but much earlier in the morning, at about 10:30. Their soup isdipped with the kubbanah bread.” – J. Nathan

Recipe: Yemenite High HolyDay Soup

3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large tomato, almost quartered but not cut apart at bottom
3 potatoes, peeled and diced, kept in cold water
3 pounds beef shoulder, ribs, or stew meat (fat removed)
3 pieces (about 2 pounds) marrow bones
1 (3-pound) chicken, cleaned and quartered
Up to 5 quarts water
10 to12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
9 small white onions
1 large white turnip, quartered but unpeeled
4 leeks or 8 green onions, coarsely cut
1 small bunch fresh parsley or fresh coriander, woody stems trimmedaway
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon hawayij (Yemenite spices), or to taste

Storage cups for refrigerating
Covered soup kettle
Large slotted spoon

Child: Store the celery, zucchini, carrots,tomato, and potatoes in separate covered containers in the refrigeratoruntil you need them the next day. The potatoes must be in coldwater or they will turn a terrible gray color.

Adult with Child: Place the beef and chickenin a large kettle with enough water to cover them. Bring to aboil, lower the heat, and simmer, until a froth forms. Removethe meat and bones and discard the water. Clean the kettle.

Child: Put the beef and bones back in thekettle and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil again. Lowerthe heat and add the unpeeled garlic cloves (by being left intheir skins, they won’t soften in cooking). Add the onions, turnip,and leeks or green onions. Cook, covered, about 1 1/2 hours,or until the meat seems fairly tender.

Adult: Remove the marrow bones, add thechicken, cover, and simmer another 20 minutes. Let cool and refrigerateovernight.

Child: Bring the soup to a boil. Add thecelery, zucchini, carrots, tomato, and potatoes. Lower the heat,cover, and simmer another 20 minutes. Just before serving, addthe parsley or coriander, salt, and hawayij, and cook, covered,for a few minutes.

Adult: Remove the garlic cloves. Adjustthe seasonings.

Eat by dipping bread into the soup, scoopingup the meat and vegetables and/or the sauce.

Serves 10 to 12.

Note: Making a children’s version of hawayijis a great introduction to Middle Eastern spices. Take the childrento a spice store where they can pick out the spices themselves.Hawayij is basically a combination of cumin, coriander (omitif using fresh), curry powder, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric.Add spices according to your children’s tolerance for strongand unusual flavors. You can omit them altogether if you wish.

Recipe from: The Children’s Jewish HolidayKitchen by Joan Nathan.

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1 Comment


In a heavy 6 quart pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high. Sprinkle the meat chunks with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the pan and sear it, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides. I just discovered your blog, and the recipes are wonderful! Do you have any more Yemenite recipes? I first tasted their food in Israel and have craved it ever since.

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