Haitian Pumpkin-Beef Soup (Soup Joumou)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This savory pumpkin soup is served in Haiti on January 1, the anniversary of Haiti's liberation from France. It is said that the soup was once a delicacy reserved for white masters but forbidden to the slaves who cooked it. After Independence, Haitians took to eating it to celebrate the world's first and only successful slave revolution resulting in an independent nation.


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 14 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 12 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and seeded
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2" pieces; rinsed
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 12 small green cabbage, cored and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 12 small kabocha squash, cut into 1" pieces


Step 1

Puree garlic, scallions, parsley, thyme, shallots, chile, juice, salt and pepper, and 1⁄2 cup water in a blender until smooth; mix with beef in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Remove beef from marinade and dry with paper towels; set aside. Heat oil in a 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add stock and and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Add carrots, celery, leeks, onion, potatoes, turnips, and cabbage; cook, slightly covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, bring squash and 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup cooking liquid and transfer squash and liquid to a blender; puree until smooth and set aside. When vegetables are tender, uncover, and stir in reserved squash puree; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thick, 5–10 minutes more; season with salt and pepper and serve with scallions and lime wedges.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.