| Recipes |

Hearty Meat and Bean Soup

Food and prop styling Renee Muller
Photography Hudi Greenberger

This is a cross between a soup and a stew, perfect for a cold Succos night. It’s thick and chock-full of meat, veggies, beans, and lentils. The trick to a really good soup is low and slow — cooking on a low flame for a long time. I love the flavor marrow bones impart to any dish, and roasting them first creates a deeper, fuller, richer flavor.


  • 1 cup baby lima beans, soaked for 24 hours (see note)
  • 2 marrow bones
  • ¾ lb (340 g) chuck meat, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup brown or orange lentils
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 large cubes frozen garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 14-oz (400-g) can finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 medium-large potatoes, cubed
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste (be generous)
  • handful fresh parsley (optional but recommended)
  • hawaij spice (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Place marrow bones in a small pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until bones are brown. Carefully transfer to a 6–7-quart pot, making sure to add all liquefied fat as well. Add meat cubes. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, removing the scum that accumulates on top.

Add the soaked and drained beans, lentils, onions, garlic, carrots, and canned tomatoes. Add more water to cover (both beans and lentils absorb a lot of water). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for 3–4 hours. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add water, if necessary. Continue cooking for an additional hour. Remove from heat. Add parsley if desired, and let steep to impart flavor.

If desired, serve the hawaij spice in a tiny bowl, and anyone who wants can add it to their own bowl. It adds real zing to the soup.

Note: Beans take a long time to cook. Soaking them for 24 hours hastens cooking time. I used panda beans, aptly called because they look like baby lima beans but have panda designs on them. Regular baby lima beans are just fine!

Tip: Hawaij means “mixture” in Arabic. It’s a Yemenite/Middle Eastern spice blend that is very aromatic, and adds earthy and nutty characteristics to your dishes. There are two kinds — one that’s savory, used in chicken, soups, and meat, and one that’s sweet, used in coffee, cakes, and desserts. You can make your own savory mixture by combining the following: 1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp ground coriander, 3/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground sumac, pinch cayenne pepper. Store in a closed container. Personalize it by adding or omitting spices of your choice!

(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 756)

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