Soup Joumou

Soup joumou is the soup of Independence, the soup of remembrance, and the soup that celebrates the new year. The soul-warming dish commemorates January 1, 1804, the date of Haiti’s liberation from France. The soup was once a delicacy reserved for white enslavers but forbidden to the enslaved people who cooked it. After Independence, Haitians took to eating it to celebrate the world’s first and only successful revolution of enslaved people resulting in an independent nation.


Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield:  6-8 servings



1 lb Kabocha squash or Caribbean pumpkin, peeled and chopped

8 cups water

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

½ lb cabbage, chopped

1 turnip, diced

2 carrots, chopped

2 leeks or scallions, chopped

1 cup sweet corn, fresh or canned

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 whole scotch bonnet pepper or other spicy pepper

¼ lb pasta (optional)

1 tbsp lime juice

2 whole cloves

1 can (12 oz) whole coconut milk

salt `



splash of sweetener (optional)


*The squash and hot peppers are essential ingredients. All other ingredients can be substituted with similar vegetables that are locally available.


Coat the squash/pumpkin in oil and roast until golden brown and tender. Simultaneously, in a separate pan, roast the remaining vegetables (except corn, parsley, hot pepper) in oil and a bit of salt until golden and tender.  Blend the cooked squash with coconut milk in a blender or food processor. Mix squash-coconut milk with the water and bring to low boil. Add the roasted vegetables and the corn, parsley, and hot pepper. Add spices to taste. Cook for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors. If you are using pasta, add it when there are 10 remaining minutes of cook time.