Soup Joumou (serves 6)

This is a traditional Haitian soup recipe and is usually served at New Year to commemorate Haiti's independence on 1 January 1804.  It is a meal in a bowl, combining meat and rice with sweet root vegetables and the kick of spicy pepper.

450g (1 lb) stewing beef
1/8 tsp allspice, ground
pinch of cayenne pepper, ground 
about 700g (1.5lbs) joumou pumpkin (I used butternut squash), peeled & diced
2 turnips, diced  (I used 1 small swede/rutabaga)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cups chicken stock 
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup rice, washed but uncooked (not instant)
salt to taste
large pinch cayenne pepper (or more, or less, depending on your taste)
double cream and fresh parsley to serve


Place the beef in a saucepan, cover generously with water and stir in the allspice and pepper.  Boil over medium low heat, partially covered for at least 1 hour or until tender.  Drain and chop beef into bite-sized pieces.

In a large stock pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the pumpkin, turnips/swede, beef, onions, parsley, thyme, and 2 cloves garlic.   Simmer until the pumpkin is tender (about15 minutes).

Discard parsley and thyme and remove the meat with a slotted spoon - keep warm.  Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables.

Return to saucepan to the heat, then add the meat, milk, nutmeg, butter, and rice.  Cook until rice is tender (15-20 minutes, or longer if you are using bown rice).

Season with salt and pepper, and mix in remaining garlic. Add a little more water or milk if the consistency is too thick.  Serve in warmed bowls with a swirl of cream in the centre of each bowl, and crusty bread on the side. 


Another great recipe from
© J Horak-Druiff 2010