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Soup Joumou

Courtesy Medegine Guillaume


Haitian Epis
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 2 cups parsley
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 scallions
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Soup Joumou
  • 1 pound Certified Angus Prime beef, cut into cubes
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef marrow bones
  • 1 cup Haitian epis (recipe above)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 pounds kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 pound acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and medium diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 green cabbage, medium diced
  • 1 Vidalia onion, medium diced
  • 4 ribs celery, medium diced
  • 1 rutabaga, medium diced
  • 1 turnip, medium diced
  • 1 Carolina Reaper chile, diced
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bouquet garni (6 parlsey and thyme sprigs wrapped in leeks)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cups Borsetti pasta (also called sacchetti or pasta purses)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • French bread, for serving (optional)
  • Chef notes

    Soup joumou is recognized as the soup of unity and freedom in the Haitian community. It is bright, flavorful, hearty and rich. There is no other soup that compares to it. Some of the ingredients include cabbage, carrots, turnips, chile peppers and, of course, the main ingredient, yellow squash.

    It is one of my favorite soups. I grew up in Mare-Rouge, a Community of Môle St. Nicolas, where Columbus discovered Haiti. I have eaten soup joumou often since I was a child. My mother and grandmother made a big pot every Sunday, and of course on every Jan. 1, Haitian Independence Day. There was always enough soup for friends, family and neighbors to enjoy.


    For the Haitian epis:

    Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

    For the soup joumou:


    Wash the beef cubes and bone marrow thoroughly with white vinegar and warm water. Transfer beef and bone marrow to a colander and rinse with warm water.


    In a large bowl, add the blended Haitian epis to beef and bone marrow with lime juice and kosher salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


    In a casserole pan, add olive oil, meat and bone marrow. Sauté for 20 minutes, then add 2 cups of water. Boil for 30 mins on medium heat.


    Heat 8 cups of vegetable broth in very large stock pot over medium heat. Add kabocha, butternut and acorn squash. Cover and simmer until squashes begin to soften, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove squash from pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a blender, take 4 cups of the vegetable broth to purée squash until smooth. Pour puree through mesh strainer.


    Add strained puree and remainder of broth into the casserole pan of meat. Add Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, green cabbage, Vidalia onion, celery, rutabaga, turnips, chile, cloves and bouquet garni. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beef is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.


    Add pasta and butter to the pot and boil until the pasta is al dente.

    To serve:

    Remove the bones and ladle soup into serving bowls. Serve with French bread on the side.