Yemenite Soup is a meal onto itself.
It is also a wonderful comfort food. Vegetables, meat, spices, it’s all there. All you need with Yemenite Soup to round out the meal is some good bread and salad. All of you avoiding red meat, use a large turkey thigh and proceed just as in the recipe.
A word about Halbah, fenugreek:
It is the trademark ingredient of Yemenite cooking, and Yemenite Soup: If you believe that unappealing mudpacks give your skin its renewed glow, then you should have no trouble believing that fenugreek does wonders for some dishes: Bitter, pungent, and acrid by itself, it has none of the inviting qualities of its fellow spices (fragrance, color, flavor); yet it is delicious combined with other ingredients in yemenite soups and many condiments. Very healthy too! We used to sneak it into drinks and soups for upset stomachs and complexions.
Hawayidj is a sort of Yemenite curry:
Another must in Yemenite soup, is easy to find in all kosher and ethnic grocery stores.
- 2 pounds lean beef of lamb cubes
- 1/2 dozen meat bones
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 3 onions
- 1 bunch flat parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 large potatoes
- 2 red peppers
- 3 medium zucchini
- 3 tablespoons Yemeni spice mix (hawayij)
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/3 cup fenugreek powder
- 1 small can tomato paste
- Salt to taste (Put it all the way at the end, and only if necessary; you might not need any, as the meat is salty)
Bring the meat and water to a boil in large pot. Reduce to medium and cook, covered, one hour.
In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, parsley and cilantro, and add to the pot. Dice all the vegetables and add to the pot, with all remaining ingredients. Cook 2 more hours. Adjust the texture and seasonings.
Makes a dozen servings