Vegetarian Yemenite Soup

Rich and full of flavor, the Vegetarian Yemenite Soup is a great way to start any meal or eat on its own

The Yemenite cuisine is lauded in Israel for its spicy fishes, succulent soups and tasty meat dishes. This Vegetarian Yemenite Soup is rich in flavor and light on ingredients making it perfect for a weeknight meal or starter for a Shabbat dinner.

I’ve spoken to plenty of people who, when the topic of Yemenite cuisine comes up, bristle at the complexity of some of these recipes. And while that may be true in some circumstances, this tasty soup is certainly not one of them. To make this recipe even easier, you can use Hawaij, the famous spice mix, in lieu of some of these ingredients. Hawaij usually consists of some combination of ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, coriander or turmeric.  As a side note, the Hawaij used in tea usually omits the ginger (though my wife insists it cures all colds)!

Vegetarian Yemenite Soup

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooks in: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty: Medium


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium celery
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 large gold potatoes

Two of the most famous Hawaij spices from Israel


  1. Cut or cube the celery root, carrots, squash, onion, potatoes and mushrooms
  2. In a large soup pot on the stove top, add olive oil and heat to medium-high heat. Add half the chopped veggies and cook for 10-12 minutes while stirring often
  3. During this time, blend the other half cut/cubed carrots, onion, celery root and garlic
  4. In the large pot, stir in salt, turmeric, cumin, pepper and coriander, then add tomato paste. Stir often for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat
  5. At this point, you’ll want to mix in the rest of the veggies that were blended plus 8 cups of water. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 40 minutes

The Yemenite Vegetable Soup is best served hot and garnished with parsley. It’s “chunkiness” depends on how much you want to blend/how long you blend most of the veggies so it’s totally up to the chef. Some add mushrooms to this quite basic recipe but we like it as pure as possible. And for a starter on Shabbat evening, nothing beats it!

Other Recipes Like This: Sephardi & Mizrahi, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Did you enjoy the Yemenite Vegetable Soup recipe? Let us know in the comments what you think of this recipe!


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