Thursday, December 30, 2021

Soup Joumou (joo-moo)

Soup Joumou is a Haitian tradition recently honored by UNESCO. Joumou, the Haitian-Creole word for Calabaza squash or pumpkin, is the heart of this soup. While the original recipe is made with a base of beef, chicken or goat, this locally-sourced vegan version thrills the tongue with the tang of lime, the earthy notes of a ginger-infused Haitian epis (aka sofrito) and a hearty, rustic texture of mashed rather than pureed squash. Recipes vary with each household and New Year's Day finds people bringing their own bowls from house to house to taste each other's soup. Give it your own spin with potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, turnip or your favorite greens!
Epis - Saute onion, ginger, garlic and salt in olive oil until translucent. Add fresh parsley. Add dried parsley, thyme, sage and a pinch of cayenne. Stir well and remove from heat.
Joumou - Boil cut winter squash (butternut, pumpkin or turban squash) in veggie or no-chicken broth until tender and then mash in broth.
Veggies - I used carrots, cabbage and spinach because they are local and in-season.
Soup Joumou - add epis and raw chopped veggies to mashed squash and broth along with juice of half a lime and a few whole cloves (make sure you count them so you can remove them or put them in a tea strainer). Add enough additional broth to cover. Cook until veggies are tender. Add juice from the other half of the lime. Taste for salt and spice. Many recipes add butter at the end for richness, so serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil.