Yemenite High Holy Day Soup
"My mother-in-law remembers the kapparah tradition in Poland. Early in the morning of the day prior to Yom Kippur, a fowl was whirled about her head, while she thought about turning over a new leaf. Her father would whirl a rooster, her mother a hen, and her brothers and sisters a pullet or a cockerel. The ceremony was repeated for each child. She was always frightened by the fluttering feathers. After the whirling, her mother would race to the shohet and have the fowls ritually slaughtered to make food for the meal before the fast. All the fowls would be cooked, and any extras given to bachelor relatives or to the poor. Chicken soup would be made for the kreplakh and the boiled chicken 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 is dipped with the kubbanah bread." - Joan Nathan.
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 trimmed away
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 refrigerator until you need them the next day. The potatoes must be in cold water or they will turn a terrible gray color.
- Adult with Child: Place the beef and chicken in a large kettle with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, until a froth forms. Remove the meat and bones and discard the water. Clean the kettle.
- Child: Put the beef and bones back in the kettle and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil again. Lower the heat and add the unpeeled garlic cloves (by being left in their 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 the chicken, cover, and simmer another 20 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
- Child: Bring the soup to a boil. Add the celery, zucchini, carrots, tomato, and potatoes. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer another 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the parsley or coriander, salt, and hawayij, and cook, covered, for a few minutes.
- Adult: Remove the garlic cloves. Adjust the seasonings.
- Eat by dipping bread into the soup, scooping up the meat and vegetables and/or the sauce.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Note: Making a children's version of hawayij is a great introduction to Middle Eastern spices. Take the children to a spice store where they can pick out the spices themselves. Hawayij is basically a combination of cumin, coriander (omit if using fresh), curry powder, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric. Add spices according to your children's tolerance for strong and unusual flavors. You can omit them altogether if you wish.
Recipe from: The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan.