Yemenite soup

Meat Yemenite Soup Recipe.

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

6 replies
  1. Batsheva
    Batsheva says:

    Is the cilantro essential to the recipe? Can it be replaced by something else? I am dying to make Yemenite soup, but cannot stand cilantro.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Batsheva, yes the cilantro is very central to this recipe, but really it would be a shame to include an ingredient at all costs if you can’t stand it. So double up on an herb you like and skip this one. Still try to use only cilantro leaves, no stems, and it might just grow on you!

  2. Benny
    Benny says:

    I am allergic to potatoes. If I leave potatoes out, should I substitute something else?
    Can I also leave out the tomato sauce or substitute something else?

  3. sabrina
    sabrina says:

    Hi, Can this soup be frozen? will the potatoes be spongy out of the freezer? also is fenugreek powder the same as ground fenugreek seeds? the ground seeds in the spice isle is all that i found at whole foods.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Sabrina Yes, fenugreek powder is ground fenugreek seeds.
      It will freeze well. Potatoes are not a dominant ingredient in this dish, so no problem.

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