Soup Joumou

  |   Posted: February 25, 2020

Haitians traditionally enjoy this hearty, nutritious pumpkin soup on their country's Independence Day.

Legend has it that soup joumou [JOO-moo] was a delicacy served to French colonial masters and not permitted to the enslaved people of Haiti, who cooked it. That changed after Haiti defeated France in 1804. To celebrate their liberty, Haitians traditionally enjoy this hearty, nutritious pumpkin soup on Jan. 1, Haitian Independence Day.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 1 hour 
Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 1 lb pumpkin (or winter squash such as butternut), peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, cubed
  • 4 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb cabbage, finely chopped
  • 4 oz vermicelli pasta (or any thin pasta), broken in half
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine first five ingredients in large plastic bag. Add meat and shake to coat. Leave in bag for 1 hour.
  2. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in very large stockpot. Add seasoned meat and chile pepper. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove meat and set aside. Remove chile pepper and discard.
  3. Add pumpkin and carrots to pot. Cover and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree pumpkin and carrots in broth, or puree in a standard blender and pour back into pot. (You may need to do this in several batches.)
  4. Return meat to pot, and add celery, onion, turnips and potato. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Thin broth with water as needed; it should not be too thick. Add cabbage and cook 15 more minutes. Add vermicelli and cook until tender. Thin again with water as needed. Stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve hot, with sliced bread for dipping.

Legend has it that soup joumou [JOO-moo] was a delicacy served to French colonial masters and not permitted to the enslaved people of Haiti, who cooked it. That changed after Haiti defeated France in 1804. To celebrate their liberty, Haitians traditionally enjoy this hearty, nutritious pumpkin soup on Jan. 1, Haitian Independence Day.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 1 hour 
Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 1 lb pumpkin (or winter squash such as butternut), peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, cubed
  • 4 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb cabbage, finely chopped
  • 4 oz vermicelli pasta (or any thin pasta), broken in half
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine first five ingredients in large plastic bag. Add meat and shake to coat. Leave in bag for 1 hour.
  2. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in very large stockpot. Add seasoned meat and chile pepper. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove meat and set aside. Remove chile pepper and discard.
  3. Add pumpkin and carrots to pot. Cover and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree pumpkin and carrots in broth, or puree in a standard blender and pour back into pot. (You may need to do this in several batches.)
  4. Return meat to pot, and add celery, onion, turnips and potato. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Thin broth with water as needed; it should not be too thick. Add cabbage and cook 15 more minutes. Add vermicelli and cook until tender. Thin again with water as needed. Stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve hot, with sliced bread for dipping.

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