Skill Level: Medium
Course: Main Course
Portions: 4/5 Portions
In Haiti, Squash Soup or ‘Soup Joumou’, is a really hearty stew of meat and squash that is traditionally eaten to celebrate the New Year. Usually eaten to celebrate Haiti’s independence as well. This soup is a tribute to the ancestors that fought for Haiti’s independence. Haiti gained it’s independence on November 18, 1803, but the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until January 1, 1804.
Ingredients for the soup:
- 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
- 1 pound of beef with bones
- Juice of 1 lime
- 10 cups water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tbs of epis
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2-pounds butternut squash
- 10 cabbage, leaves quartered
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 medium turnips, washed quartered
- 2 medium potatoes, washed quartered
- 4-6 cloves
- ½ cup rigattoni or penne.
- 1 whole habanero pepper, pricked twice with a toothpick
- Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
- Soup Dumplings:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of water
Marinate the chicken and the beef (separately) in the lime juice for 5 minutes or until the meat turns white. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub the meat with the epis and let sit, covered, in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer you can leave the meat in the marinade, the better it is.
Put the meet in a large stockpot with 3 cups of water, the quartered onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Over a medium heat, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash, peel, and core the squash and cut into 1-inch chunks. In a stockpot cover the squash with cold water, bring to a boil then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and puree the squash in the reserved cooking water.
Add the squash puree to the boiled meet. Bring to a boil again and add the cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes and cloves. Cook uncovered until the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper.
Add the pasta and the whole habanero pepper and cook until the pasta is al dente. Let the soup rest for 5 minutes. Discard the habanero and the cloves and serve with lime wedges on the side.
(A little secret, I always add “soup dumplings” which are flour mixed with water, salt and pepper. Mix the dough until it looks like a long gnocci [2 in long]. Then add 4 or 5 of them when adding the pasta to the soup)