Heavenly Hawaij Soup

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Soup shots are the perfect starter for a long holiday feast, and this Heavenly Hawaij Soup is the ideal choice. Combining aromatic spices, earthy mushrooms and velvety cream, it is as decadent as holiday fare should be. If you start with this, what could be next? Cardamom, turmeric and saffron are the essential spice elements of the  Yemenese blend Hawaij, and they play wonderfully in this exotic mushroom soup. It’s a leftover that will have you sneaking back to the kitchen at four am.

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Heavenly Hawaij Soup

Heavenly Hawaij Soup


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcinis, broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 pounds chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons ground Hawaij
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Saute the garlic and onions until slightly browned. Add the flour, and mix well (it will be thick).
  2. Add in the porcinis, criminis, stock, wine and Hawaij. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Once the soup is pureed, return it to the pot and add the heavy cream.
  4. Simmer for about 10 minutes, to reduce the cream a bit. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon, then taste for salt and add what you need. If you feel the soup is too thick, add more stock. If you feel it needs to be thicker, continue to reduce it on low until it’s at the consistency you prefer.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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  1. Julie says:

    Plan on trying this one soon, as I bought some Hawaij the last time I was in the store. Just wondering what dried green herb was sprinkled on top for the picture.

    • Angelina says:

      Hey Julie,

      I think you’ll love it! I’ve even made it non-dairy, and it still turned out rich and delicious. The topper in the photo is just a little chopped fresh parsley for color in the photograph- not a necessary element.

      • Tory Shook says:

        What non-dairy substitute did you use? Or did you only use the broth?

        • Angelina says:

          Hi Tory,

          I’ve done it two ways… The first time I used commercially available soy milk, unflavored and unsweetened, of course, and the second I used cashew milk that I made myself in my Vitamix. They both turned out famously! The cashew mimics the dairy cream a bit better, and are richer, so when I used the soy, I added a few tablespoons of flax seed meal (Bob’s Red Mill brand) to thicken it up. Let me know if you “veganize” this, (or any of our other recipes!) and how it turns out!

  2. Julie says:

    Angelina, you completely rock. The recipe was amazing and a huge hit today.

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  4. ann w says:

    You might enjoy this.
    Recipe for Yemenite Soup
    My husband gave me this recipe.
    4 chicken thighs
    1/2 red onion, diced
    2 small peeled potatoes or 1 big potato cut into big chunks
    1 zucchini, sliced in half horizontally, then sliced again (total 4 pieces)
    2 small tomatoes or 1 big tomato (Use a grater, then throw away the skin)
    water (about 2 16 ounce bottles)
    1/2 teaspoon tumeric
    1/2 teaspoon hawaij
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Place washed chicken thighs, onion, potatoes, zucchini and water (enough to cover two inches) in big pot. Then put tumeric. Cover most of pot, allow to boil. Then turn heat to medium and allow to boil for half a hour. Finally put 1/2 teaspoon hawaij and 1/2 teaspoon salt and allow to cook for ten more minutes. You can put it on medium high again to make sure it’s cooked.

  5. Malin says:

    Could you use coconut milk or cream or would the coconut overpower the spices?

    • Sherrie says:

      I would think that coconut milk would be wonderful with the spices, especially in this soup. Maybe start with half the amount, because you can always sub stock for the rest of it.

  6. Emily says:

    Ahhhhh. I made this tonight and it was so good. I have so many of these spices with no idea how to use them. Thanks for the recipe!

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