Sopa de Roshana – Simanim Soup

Sopa de Roshana – Simanim Soup 

Sopa de Roshana – Simanim Soup

My mother Rica always made the most delicious, most nourishing and most satisfying soups. But for Rosh Hashana there was a special soup. This soup contained all the vegetables of the “simanim” on which one needs to say blessings. This is a Spanish Moroccan custom. Not only are all the vegetables in there but there’s also cheek meat or neck bones to symbolize the sheep’s head. My mother would chop up the vegetables and leave part of them in bigger pieces. Then she would simmer all the vegetables and meat together. She would serve the larger pieces with honey on top for the blessings and the soup would be served as the first course. As a child, this was definitely not one of my favorite things to eat. My brothers and cousins all made faces but we ate it anyways. We knew you had to eat it if you wanted this to be a good year for you.

With time, this soup became vegetarian as my brothers didn’t eat meat. And over time we became more creative in serving the simanim, so we didn’t have to swallow the boiled veggies with honey anymore. 

This year I am all about honoring my mother’s recipes. I have decided to make this very delicious soup from my youth. I will cook the meat cheeks in my pressure cooker separately and will add it for those who wish to have meat in their bowl. This way everyone will be able to have Maman’s Roshana soup.

This recipe makes a very large pot, so you should have enough to serve for the two nights.



3-4 lb cheek meat

¼ cup olive oil

One large onion finely diced

2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

Pinch of saffron (optional)

1 cup water


¼ cup olive oil

4 leeks, washed thoroughly and sliced thinly

1 bunch Swiss Chard, with stem removed and chopped thinly

2 cups butternut squash, cubed 

1 large green apple or quince, peeled and cubed

2 large zucchini, peeled and diced

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 large turnip, peeled and cubed

4 celery stalks, diced

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 parsnip, peeled and diced

½ small cabbage, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp chicken consommé powder

½ tsp white pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste


In pressure cooker or large pot, add oil and warm over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. 

Add meat, bay leaf and spices. Cook for one hour in pressure cooker or until tender in the pot.


In a very large pot warm oil over medium heat, then add sliced leeks. Sauté for 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Add all the ingredients, except Swiss chard, zucchini and butternut squash. Set aside the Swiss chard, zucchini, and butternut squash.

Pour enough water to cover the top of the vegetables. Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat. 

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. 

Cook vegetables for an hour. Add the zucchini and butternut squash. Simmer for another half hour and add the Swiss chard , continue to cook on a simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

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