The start of a new year calls for a tasty dish.
And for Haitian Americans, soup joumou brings more than beef and pumpkin to the table. In fact, the meal celebrates a big accomplishment for Haiti — independence from France on Jan. 1, 1804.
The island became the first in the Caribbean to gain its independence and freedom from France, which also meant the emancipation of the slaves.
During slavery, Blacks could only eat the scraps given to them by their slave masters, but after that day in 1804, Haitian slaves could eat whatever they pleased. So they celebrated by partying and eating beef and pumpkin soup, which was a favorite of their French masters.
Local celebrity chef and Haitian-Dominican American, Daniella Abraham showed us how to make a warm, rich and hearty bowl of the soup.
Here are the ingredients and steps:
Work/Prep Time: 1 hour
Total time: 3 hours -24 hours (marinating)
1 lb. butternut squash 2 lbs. Calabaza squash 3 large Russet potatoes 2 Chayote squash
1 lb. Malanga 1 Sour orange 3 Celery stalk 3 Carrots
2 small White turnips
1 Green scotch bonnet pepper
1 handful Cilantro
1 handful Thai cilantro
1 handful Thyme
1 cup Epis (Haitian Complete Seasoning Base) 1⁄2 cup beef or chicken bouillon
10 Green cabbage leaves chopped
1 1⁄2 lb. Stew beef
2 1⁄2 lb. Beef neck bones with meat
Haitian long Macaroni or regular Italian rigatoni Haitian yellow vermicelli
18 cups of water divided
3 tbsp. of olive oil
Large 12-16-quart stock pot
1.In a large bowl combine beef. Cut sour orange in half and squeeze juices all over the beef and use the sour orange skin to rub the beef removing impurities. Rinse beef and drain then place back in the large bowl.
2.Pour epis seasoning over the beef and rub in. let sit and marinate in the refrigerator covered for 30 minutes-24 hours.
3.Coarsely chop all of your vegetables (carrots, celery, turnip, chayote) and put them aside together. Peel and chop malanga and potatoes and put them aside covered in water so they do not brown. Peel and chop both squash in large pieces and set aside.
4.Heat the stock pot on high and coat the bottom with the olive oil. Add meat and let it sear.
5.Pour 5 cups of water or until meat in completely covered with water and bring it to a boil for 40 minutes.
6.Add squash to the pot and add more water to completely submerge it and bring it to a boil foe 20 minutes.
7.Remove squash and add to a blender to puree it then add the pureed squash back in the pot and stir.
8.Add remaining chopped vegetables to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add remaining water.
9.Add bouillon and any extra preferred seasonings (season salt, onion powder, garlic powder and stir.
10.Take the thyme, cilantro, and pepper and tie them together with butcher twine. Add that to the soup and remove before serving.
11.Add pasta and let cook for an additional 2o minutes and serve with passion fruit juice and Haitian bread for a real authentic experience.
Abraham has cooked for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Miami rappers Pitbull and Trina, Pharrell and more local and international stars. She has also appeared on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and is launching a YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/c/chefdanie) on Jan.1, which will feature soup joumou and every day quick meals for people on the go. For more dishes, visit www.chefdanie.com.