Soup Joumou, a velvety kabocha squash soup flavored by thick-cut veggies, hearty beef, and a revolution. Joumou aka Haitian Independence soup is made on New Years Day, the day Haitians liberated themselves from French colonizers.
The story goes that enslaved Haitians were not allowed to drink this soup because it was only for the French slaveholders. When Haitians gained independence they reclaimed the soup in celebration.
Jikoni junior editor, Jasmyn shares her family recipe for this traditional Haitian soup.Print
A velvety kabocha squash soup flavored by thick-cut veggies and hearty beef.
1 medium (2 pounds) Kabocha Squash
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 ½ pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup Haitian epis
1 yellow onion, large diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef stock
½ small head of green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium waxy potatoes (yukon gold), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 leek, light green part only and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 sprigs of thyme
Small handful of flat leaf parsley
1 scotch bonnet or habanero
½ pound rigatoni pasta
Salt to taste
- Boil the whole kabocha with the skin for 30 mins, this makes it easier to peel and cut. Flip midway through cooking. Once cooked, remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Season the beef generously with salt. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat. Brown the beef on all sides until they form a crust around the edges, about 5 minutes.
- To the browned meat stir in the epis, cooking for 3 minutes.
- Add in the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions have softened and begin to brown, about 5 mins.
- Pour in the beef stock, being sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Cover and cook for 30 mins
- While the beef is cooking, de-seed and peel the squash. Mash the peeled and seeded squash using a potato masher.
- To the pot of simmering beef, stir in the mashed squash and 4 cups of water.
- Add in the cabbage, potato, carrots, leek, clove, thyme, parsley, scotch bonnet, and salt to taste.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 mins or until vegetables are tender.
- In a separate pot, cook rigatoni in salted water according to box instructions.
- Serve the soup in deep bowls, with a small serving of pasta in each.
- You can use frozen kabocha squash puree if available at your local supermarket, just defrost it a bit beforehand.
- Bone-in beef chuck will make a more flavorful soup, you can even use chicken, or go meatless.
- Usually pasta is added directly to the soup, to keep noodles from becoming soggy it’s suggested to make them on the side and add to the soup upon serving
- Soup will thicken as it sits, add a little water when reheating to desired consistency.