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Soup Joumou - How to Make it and Why We Eat It

Dec 31, 2012
Posted By:CoolP

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Soup Joumou is a traditional thick and hearty Haitian soup made of pumpkin, beef, and rice. The dish represents Haitian defiance of the French colonial powers, who had declared that slaves could not eat soup. Eating this soup on New Year’s Day is a tradition past on from generation to generation to celebrate Haitian Independence Day every first of January. On this day, families across Haiti sit down to have a bowl of this soup.

Soup Joumou is very popular and native to Haiti however, other variations of it can be found throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a vivid soup made from pumpkins. The squash slices are simmered in a saucepan along with pieces of beef and vegetables such as potato, parsley, carrots, and onions. The end result is pureed, usually in a food processor with a variable amount of water. The puree is returned to the saucepan where salt and seasoning along with garlic and other herbs and spices are added. Thin pasta such as vermicelli and macaroni is sometimes put in. A little milk and butter is mixed in as well. The condiments included give the soup its characteristic taste of being mildly spicy. It is always served hot and usually accompanied with rice and bread. Sliced bread is a frequent side-dish and that makes the soup a sort of dip as well. Soup Joumou is traditionally consumed every New Years’ on January 1 as a historical tribute to Haiti’s independence in 1804 where newly freed slaves consumed pumpkin soup, a meal forbidden them by their French masters.

This how to prepare Haitian soup Joumou.

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Things You’ll Need:
1 lb corned beef or beef stew meat water
1 1/2 lbs pumpkin, peeled & diced
2 turnips, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup rice, washed (uncooked, not instant)
salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2-4 teaspoons butter

Step 1
In a saucepan, cover beef generously with water and boil over medium low heat, partially covered for 1 hour.

Step 2
Drain and chop beef into bite-sized pieces.

Step 3
In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil; add pumpkin, turnips, beef, onions, parsley, thyme, and 2 cloves garlic.

Step 4
Simmer until pumpkin is tender (15 minutes).

Step 5
Discard parsley and thyme. Transfer pumpkin to food processor with 1/4 cup stock and puree.

Step 6
Return to saucepan and heat through. Add milk, nutmeg, butter, and rice; cook until rice is tender (15-20 minutes).

Step 7
Season with salt and pepper, and mix in remaining garlic. Serve hot with a little butter in each bowl.

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