A Deliciously Tasty Soup Joumou Recipe

If you are looking for a soup that is exciting, exotic, and can be vegetarian, then it is time to enjoy a Soup Joumou on your next soup night. Found primarily in Haitian cuisine, this delicacy soup has started appearing as an appetizer for Haitian-based restaurants and is growing in popularity. It is essential to Haitian culture and is layered with flavor that will greatly add to your soup recipes.

History of Soup Joumou

With a butternut squash base, the soup Joumou is a Haitian staple prepared and enjoyed each year on January 1st to celebrate the country’s freedom. This soup symbolizes how far this country has come over time and represents the struggles they had to undergo to get where they are. Dating back to the slave era of this country, the natives who were enslaved were not allowed to partake in this particular soup when it was made, as it was only for the slave masters and others on the island.

Not Your Average Squash Soup

Although it does have squash as the base, it is a different consistency and chunkier than what you may expect from a squash-based soup. When you make this soup, it is meant to be served with bread or rolls to embrace its full flavor and experience. You can use meat in this soup or opt out of it if you have a dietary restriction to consider.

Gather Your Ingredients

You may have to visit the market for this soup, as some of these ingredients are not readily found at home.

  • One large butternut squash or two small squash averaging around three pounds
  • Three cups of your preferred pasta noodles
  • One pound of beef cut into cubed pieces
  • One tablespoon of minced ginger
  • One tablespoon of minced garlic
  • Two lemons juiced
  • One teaspoon of sage
  • One teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
  • Two cups of shredded cabbage
  • One bag of frozen vegetables
  • 10 cups of water
  • One cube of chicken bullion
  • Two cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 of chopped fresh parsley

While you may have some of the seasonings and broth, you must pick up the veggies and other required ingredients to make this dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you want to keep this a vegetarian dish, you can use mushrooms instead of beef for the meaty part of this soup. Also, opt for regular bouillon and veggie broth in your ingredients. This will allow you to keep it vegetarian.

If you don’t mind the meat, you can get any cut of beef that can easily be cut up into pieces. Know that you are going to be marinating this meat, so you want something with a little fat to absorb the flavor of the soup.

You cannot sub out the butternut squash in this soup, but the frozen veggies are at your discretion. Most opt for a variation with peas, carrots, and several others. If you want just one or two veggies, purchase small bags of those instead and add them to the soup.

Marinate Your Meat

Before you can start building your soup, you have to marinate the meat overnight. Cut your beef into the same-size cubes in a large bowl and season them. If you have some in the fridge, add salt, pepper, sage, minced garlic, ginger, and Worcestershire sauce. This will tenderize the meat and start to break it down. Finish it off with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and marinate overnight.

Begin Building Your Soup

If you decide to add meat, take that out of the fridge, grab your other ingredients, and a large soup pot for the stove.

1. Start Cooking Your Meat

Straight from the bowl to the soup pot, add the meat and the marinade to the soup bowl after turning it on medium heat, and let it start a slow cook while you begin preparing the rest of the soup. You will need to add about six cups of water to the meat, cover and let the meat cook for the next hour and a half.

2. Prepare Your Squash

After rinsing off your squash and making sure it is diced up into small cubes, you can start cooking it in a small pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You want to cook the squash down until it is tender and starting to form a pasty liquid-type consistency.

3. Pulse Your Squash

Take your butternut squash directly from the pot to the blender and begin pulsing until all the chunks are out of the squash. Then turn it to blend so that it will smooth out the mixture.

4. Mix the Squash and Meat

Your meat should be close to done, so add the blended squash to the meat in the large soup pot. Please stir it, and then add the bouillon, two cups of water, and the frozen veggies and sliced cabbage you decided to add. Keep stirring this soup because it is hot, and you do not want it to burn the vegetables over the next ten minutes.

5. Add in the Noodles

Once this has cooked down, it is time to add the broth of your choice and then add the macaroni noodles. Any other seasonings you have lying around should be added at this time, like the chopped parsley, to give the soup a hint of brightness.

6. Simmer and Serve

Once the soup starts boiling with the noodles, turn the heat down to a low setting and let it sit for 10 minutes. This will give the veggies and noodles time to soften and all the flavors to marry together.

Once everything is as desired consistently, take a large ladle that can pick up all the chunks and add them to soup bowls. This recipe should make between four and six servings and can easily be doubled if you need to make more for a larger group.

If you cook rolls to enjoy with your soup, make sure they are out of the oven, buttered, and ready to serve. Most prefer sweet rolls to give this savory soup a different flavor. If you don’t have rolls available, you can use pieces of bread to dip in the soup and enjoy as you eat your soup.

Store Your Leftovers

While this delicious soup rarely has leftovers, they can be stored easily in the refrigerator for up to three days if you reheat them again. If you want to save what’s left but aren’t planning to eat it in the time frame, you can store it in a freezer-safe bag and then reheat it ahead within the next two months to get the best flavor.

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