Soup Joumou – Haitian soup of freedom

Soup Joumou is a traditional soup 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. –

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