Soup joumou (Squash soup)


Normally/ Usually , soup joumou is served/prepared on January 1st. It’s a historical tribute to our declared Independence on January 1st, 1804. The newly freed slaves consumed it because such meal was forbidden them by their former French masters.
Some Haitians also believe that the richness of the soup with all its vegetables and ingredients symbolizes the taste of freedom.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to prepare this dish on that date due to my lack of time. I did get to savor it though; it is tradition that Haitians will try the soup joumou of their fellow neighbors on New Year’s day.  So of course, I had to visit a few friends.
Also,  most Sundays, this soup is served with Haitian bread and butter. Mmmmmm! I wouldn’t mind a bowl right now!.

My advice to you, get a Haitian friend just so you can visit on New Year’s ! A bowl of Soup Joumou is 90% guaranteed!

This recipe was found here
Also, all the vegetables are optional!


2 cloves garlic
2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and seeded
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lbs. beef chuck, cut into ½” pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 cups beef stock
2 carrots, cut into 1½” pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1½” pieces
1 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1½” pieces; rinsed
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1½” pieces
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1½” pieces
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1½” pieces
½ small green cabbage, cored and cut into 1½” pieces
½ small kabocha squash (or winter squash) , cut into 1″ pieces


1. Puree garlic, scallions, parsley, thyme, shallots, chile, juice, salt and pepper, and ½ cup water in a blender until smooth; mix with beef in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Remove beef from marinade and dry with paper towels; set aside. Heat oil in a 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add stock and and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 1½ hours. Add carrots, celery, leeks, onion, potatoes, turnips, and cabbage; cook, slightly covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring squash and 2 cups water to a boil in a  2-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid and transfer squash and liquid to a blender; puree until smooth and set aside. When vegetables are tender, uncover, and stir in reserved squash puree; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thick, 5–10 minutes more; season with salt and pepper and serve with scallions and lime wedges.


Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

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