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  • Writer's pictureKamille D. Whittaker

Recipe + Ritual: Haitian Soup Joumou

Soup Joumou, also known as the Haitian Independence Soup, is a pumpkin (or squash) soup that is traditionally served on January 1 to commemorate the day of Haiti’s liberation from France in 1804.

Leah Penniman's (Soul Fire Farm) Recipe for Soup Joumou


1 lb Kabocha squash or Caribbean pumpkin, peeled and chopped

8 cups water 4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 celery stalk, chopped 1 large onion, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped ½ lb cabbage, chopped

1 turnip, diced 2 carrots, chopped

2 leeks or scallions, chopped 1 cup sweet corn, fresh or canned

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 whole scotch bonnet pepper or other spicy pepper ¼ lb pasta (optional)

1 tbsp lime juice

2 whole cloves

1 can (12 oz) whole coconut milk

Salt, pepper, and thyme to taste

Dash of sweetener (optional)


1. Coat the squash/pumpkin in a bit of oil, spread out on a baking sheet, and roast in a 375 F oven until golden brown and tender (about 40 to 45 minutes).

2. Simultaneously, in a separate pan, roast the remaining vegetables (except corn, parsley, hot pepper) in oil and a bit of salt until golden and tender.

3. Blend the cooked squash with coconut milk in a blender or food processor.

4. Mix the squash-coconut mixture with the water and bring to a low boil.

5. Add the roasted vegetables, as well as the corn, parsley, and hot pepper.

6. Add the spices, optional sweetener, and lime juice to suit your taste.

7. Cook for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors.

8. If you are using pasta, add it when there are 10 remaining minutes of cook time.



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