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.
Why Soup Joumou Is So Special
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.
Preparing For 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 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.
How To Make Haitian Squash Soup In the Instant Pot
We suggest using a good quality beef such as the Angus Ribeye Steak.
The spices and allowing the meat to marinate will make a whole world of difference.
Stove Top Soup Joumou Cooking Tips
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.
MORE HAITIAN RECIPES YOU’LL ENJOY
If you made these plantain balls, try one of these recipes next:
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Soup Joumou (Haitian Squash Soup) Recipe
Stovetop Soup Joumou
- 1 Butternut squash about 2 ½ – 3 lbs.
- 3 cups Macaroni
- 1 lb. Beef cubes
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger chopped
- 1 lb. Fresh vegetable 8 blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Juice from 2 lemons or limes
- 1 teaspoon Garden sage fresh and chopped
- 3 cups Shredded cabbage
- 1 tablespoon Better than bouillon vegetable paste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Fresh parsley
- 10 cups Water plus extra for cooking
- 2 cups Vegetable broth
Instant Pot Soup Joumou Ingredients To Marinate The Meat
- 2 Lbs. Angus Beef
- 1 Cup Haitian Epis
- 2 tablespoon Ground Fresh Ginger
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
Instant Pot Soup Ingredients
- 1 Large Butternut Squash about 2 ½ – 3 lbs.
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 Rosemary Sprigs
- 5 Thyme Sprigs
- 1 ½ teaspoon Allspice
- Fresh Sage about 3 leaves
- 3 Large Carrots Peels
- 1 Small Cabbage about 1 ½ lbs.
- 1 Box Penne Pasta or about 3 cups of pasta
- 2 Large Fresh Lemon
- 2 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Paste Vegetable paste
- 8 Cups Water
- 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!
Instant Pot Soup Joumou Instructions
- Cut and wash the meat well. Pat dry and place inthe instant pot basket. Add the marinating ingredients, mix well. Cover with foil and set aside. Let marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Wash the squash, then cut into large pieces. Then add the squash into the basket with the meat. Add 8 cups of water. Cover and turn the knob to seal. Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. When the timer goes off, quick release. Place the meat in one bowl. Do NOT discard the water from the meat and squash. Place the water in large bowl to use for later. Add the squash to the Instant Pot Blender or good quality blender. Add 2 ½ cups of the water from the meat. Blend well to a smooth consistency.
- In the Instant Pot, add the oil, carrots, cabbage, and noodles. Stir until well combined. Then transfer the blended squash to the vegetables and noodles. Add the remaining ingredient – herbs, salt, lemon juice, allspice, and Better Than Bouillon Paste (See Instant Pot Soup Ingredients list above). Add the cooked meat. Next, add the remaining water from the meat (broth) and stop until the liquid reaches the "max" mark in the pot. Do not overfill, otherwise the soup will overflow when cooking. Stir lightly to mix the ingredients together. Cover and seal. Cook for additional 10 minutes. Quick release when complete. Serve and enjoy.
- The content was updated to better serve the readers.
- Per readers’ request, the soup has been modified to include an Instant Pot version.
- The ingredients/recipe remained as is for the stovetop version as the readers already love it.
- Step-by-step photo guide along with a video is provided to help you make this recipe perfectly each time.
- If you want to make this meal vegan, simply remove the meat.