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Soul Fire Farm's Vegetarian Soup Joumou

Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

The symbolism of this pumpkin being used to mark our (Haitian) liberation is very, very important so whenever I taste or as they say, sip the soup joumou, I have an opportunity to think about the resiliency of my ancestors and of oppressed peoples around the world to shake off tyranny and the ways that that can be connected with the fruits of the earth and our relationship to the land.


  • 1 pound kabocha squash or Caribbean pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cabbage, chopped
  • 1 turnip, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 leeks or scallions, chopped
  • salt
  • 1 cup sweet corn, fresh or canned
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper or other spicy pepper*
  • 1 can (12 ounces) whole coconut milk
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 whole cloves
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • splash of sweetener (optional)
  • 1/4 pound pasta (optional)


Coat the squash/pumpkin in oil and roast until golden-brown and tender. Simultaneously, in a separate pan, roast the remaining vegetables (except corn, parsley and hot pepper) in oil and a bit of salt until golden and tender.

Blend the cooked squash with coconut milk in a blender or food processor. Mix squash-coconut milk with the water and bring to low boil. Add the roasted vegetables and the corn, parsley and hot pepper. Add lime juice, spices and optional sweetener, to taste. Cook for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors. If you are using pasta, add it when there are 10 remaining minutes of cook time.