Soup Joumou is served every year on the 1st of January as the Haitian nation celebrate its Independence. It is one of the most savored food as it is a rarity. Deliciously prepared to ones taste but the base is squash. Extremely filling, but yet the enjoyment of the sensational flavors with the proudness of freedom make this dish a unique experience that one must share.
Savory Thoughts: All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
The number one and main reason that makes this soup so special to Haitians, is that, it is a reminder of their struggles and victory. During slavery, Haitian slaves were not allowed to enjoy this soup as it was only to be prepared for the slave masters. Therefore, on January 1, 1804, Haiti’s Independence Day, the newly freed Haitians celebrated their freedom with SOUP
No matter where you are in the world, if you are Haitian or Haitian descendant, you are most likely celebrating the New Year with a bowl of Soup Joumou.
It is said you cannot make soup joumou without love, patience, and a smile on your face.
What makes S
oup Joumou different from regular squash soup?
Haitian Soup Joumou is rich and hearty. It is not as thick as the traditional squash soup you will find in most places.
It is filled with vegetables, as we call it viv. It is hearty and meaty. It is the type of soup that literally fills you up all day. It is starchy but yet healthy. It is savory and sometimes made with a hint of sweetness depending on the individual who is making it.
It is often accompanied with bread or dinner rolls.
It is made in abundance!
It is our beloved and most delicious soup for many reasons. For example, to make soup
Growing up, I remembered my family would start to make this soup shortly after midnight. Usually after midnight mass or prayer.
My best memories growing up while my family made this soup was the laughter in the kitchen as all the women gathered together to make this dish. Thankfully, the same feeling followed me in the States as well, when my mother and her family would make the soup.
Authentic Soup Joumou is made in sections or stages. First, the meat will be marinated. The chores will be divided among the women. For example, one person is in charge of peeling the vegetables; from cabbage to the malanga, scallions or green onion, peppers, carrots, potatoes, and so on. The list goes on depending on your taste buds and the cook’s preference. Another person is entrusted of making sure that the liquid is not too low while the meat cooks. Finally, the last person is entrusted of making sure the vegetables are included in the proper order.
The soup is finished with pasta: spaghetti or macaroni. I personally do not like it with spaghetti. I prefer it with macaroni noodles.
The aroma from the meat alone while boiling is enough to make you hungry. Authentic Soup Joumou takes HOURS to prepare. As stated, a lot of patience is required. A lot of love is poured into this soup EACH YEAR. Once everything is combined, the slow cooking process begins overnight so it can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Most large families often begin their day by having the soup at home. Then most likely one or two things will happen. A family may entertain guests for more soup or travel to visit family members to enjoy more soup.
This soup brings EVERYONE together.
It is truly our most loved dish. Majority of Haitians do not eat this soup until January 1st as it can be pricey to prepare.
When making this soup I highly recommend marinating the meat the night before. Do not dispose the seasoning mixture. Everything is added to the soup for extra flavor.
Bouillon cubes are also common when making this soup. However, it is not included in this recipe.
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Soup Joumou (Haitian Squash Soup) Recipe
Soup Joumou (Haitian Squash Soup) is served every year on the 1st of January as the Haitian nation celebrate its Independence. It is one of the most savored food as it is a rarity. Deliciously prepared to ones taste but the base is squash. Extremely filling, but yet the enjoyment of the sensational flavors with the proudness of freedom make this dish a unique experience that one must share.
- 1 Butternut squash
- 3 cups Macaroni
- 1 lb. Beef cubes
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
- 1 lb. Fresh vegetable 8 blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Juice from 2 lemons or limes
- 1 tsp Garden sage fresh and chopped
- 3 cups Shredded cabbage
- 1 tbsp Better than bouillon vegetable paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh parsley
- 10 cups Water plus extra for cooking
- 2 cups Vegetable broth
In a medium-size bowl, season the meat with salt and pepper, garlic, sage, 1 lemon or lime juice, and parsley. Marinate for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Transfer the meat with the marinating liquid to a 5-quart dutch oven, or deep pan. Add 8 cups of water, and cook on medium-high covering the pan halfway. Cook the meat for 2 hours. Be sure to check the water quantity so it does not dry. Add more water if needed as the meat cooks. In the end, you should have about 2 cups of water left with the meat. Reduce the heat to low.
Meanwhile, cook the squash until fork through (about 35 minutes). Remove the squash from the heat, cut in half, remove the seeds, and cut into small pieces. Feel free to leave the skin on.
Place the squash the blender, blend until liquify with cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. Pour the mixture into the meat, stir. Add the bouillon paste and vegetables, cook for 10 minutes. Stir constantly. Add the juice from the other lemon or lime, then add the noodles. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir. Serve warm with bread. Enjoy!
Step-by-step photo guide:
Ingredients for Soup Joumou. Salt and pepper, water, and broth not pictured.
Season the meat. Marinate for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Cook and cut the squash. Blend.
Add the blended mixture to the meat.
Add the vegetables.
Add the cabbage.
Add the noodles.
Serve warm and Enjoy!