The Lechasseurs' Recipes

Only the "keepers"

Soup Joumou

This Haitian soup-meets-stew is usually enjoyed January 1st for Haitian Independence Day. It's a celebration soup that boasts lot of robust flavour and heartiness. This version is inspired by the classic recipe but skips the traditional addition of noodles.


1 lb cubed stewing beef
1 lime or lemon
1/4 tsp each coarse salt and pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups water
11 to 12 cups beef broth
3 celery stalks
3 shallots
2 carrots, peeled
2 turnips, peeled
1 potato, peeled
1/4 small green cabbage
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, cut in half
3 to 3 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought pumpkin or butternut squash purée
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Squeeze 1 Tbsp of juice from lime over meat in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. When meat is ready, pat dry with paper towel. Coat a large deep pot with oil. Brown beef for 5 minutes until golden. You may need to cook in batches. Pour in a little water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits. Add remaining water and four cups of broth. Bring to a boil. Adjust heat so that broth is simmering. Cook for one hour until meat is tender.

3. Meanwhile, coarsely chop vegetables.

4. When beef is tender, pour in remaining broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Add chopped vegetables and hot pepper. Cook for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Remove pepper halves when spicy heat is to you liking.

5. When vegetables are tender, add puree and spices. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 10 more minutes, allowing flavours to meld. Taste and add more cloves and nutmeg, if you wish. Serves soup garnished with parsley.

Makes 14 cups (3.5L) for eight servings.

Food and Drink Magazine, Holiday 2015, p184.