Soup Joumou (pronounced joo-moo) is a central part of New Year’s tradition in Haitian homes. The hearty dish commemorates January 1, 1804, the day Haiti was liberated from France. The soup was once served to French slave masters but the slaves who cooked it were forbidden to eat it. After they won their independence, Haitians prepared and ate the soup to celebrate their freedom.
Haiti was the world’s first and only slave nation in history that won its own freedom.
Every Haitian has their own version of Soup Joumou, but it usually includes garlic, onions, vegetables, cabbage, pasta and pureed pumpkin to thicken the broth. The soup simmers for several hours. Some kind of seasoned meat, often beef or goat, is added to the soup making it a savory one-dish feast.
Soup Joumou is often made in a large aluminum pot with plenty to share with family, friends and neighbors who gather to celebrate the New Year and Haiti’s hard-won freedom. I like to call it Freedom Soup!
The equation is simply: Haitian Pumpkin Soup = Symbol of Liberty.
What a better way to celebrate a past!
Happy Independence Day to all my Zoes!!! 🇭🇹