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bowl of soup joumou with thyme and red scotch bonnet pepper.

Haitian Soup Joumou

Soup joumou a rich, aromatic and delicious beef and pumpkin soup that symbolizes Haiti's independence and resiliency.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Haitian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Marwin Brown


  • 1 ½ pounds beef chuck cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup leeks (whites only) finely chopped
  • 1 large scallion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme washed and tied with twine
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley washed and tied with twine
  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots cut into small pieces
  • 5 cups low-sodium beef broth vegetable or chicken stock can be substituted
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper whole with small slits along each side
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup epis seasoning
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 small malanga root peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rigatoni pasta
  • 1 medium lime juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Make the epis by pureeing all the ingredients until smooth

Soup Joumou

  • Wash beef with water and then rub with lime juice and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup of epis to the bowl and marinate the meat in the refrigerator and overnight or for at least 1 hour.
  • Remove meat from refrigerator and let come to room temperature
  • In a large pot, heat oil on high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add the meat and brown thoroughly on all sides, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the meat from the pot, and set aside. Leave the oil in the pot.
  • Add the onions, leeks and scallions to the pot. Cook on medium high heat 5-10 minutes until they are translucent reaching a golden brown.
  • Add the garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, celery, and half the spices and cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute more.
  • Add the thyme, squash, carrots and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook until squash and carrots are fork tender around 30-40 minutes
  • Turn off the heat, remove the thyme and pepper, and puree the soup using a hand mixer until it is a smooth texture. If you prefer a thinner consistency add more broth or water. If you don't have a hand mixer use a blender or food processor.
  • Add the thyme back to the soup and add the beef, bay leaves, parsley, and remaining spices.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer on medium-low heat covered and cook for an additional 45 minutes
  • Add the pasta, potatoes and malanga root and continue to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and malanga are cooked through.
  • Add cabbage and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the herbs and discard. Add seasoning as needed and serve with fresh lime juice and chopped parsley.


  • Turnips, rutabagas are good substitutes for malanga root.
  • I used butternut squash in place of pumpkin as I didn't find pumpkin to my liking.
  • Feel free to add another 1/2 cup of the epis to the soup right after pureeing.
  • Cutting beef into chunks is easier if the meat is partially frozen. Aldo dry the beef with paper towels for easier handling.
  • Marinate the beef in Haitian epis marinade.
  • Cut small slits into the scotch bonnets to leverage their fragrance while keeping that crazy heat level in check.
  • Puree the squash and carrots for optimal consistency, color, and balanced flavor
  • Use local, fresh ingredients. If you don't have pumpkin around, forget using the canned stuff and just use your favorite winter squash that's available.
  • For thinner consistency add vegetable stock or water
  • Add a dose of lime juice just before serving.
  • Keep your favorite bread on hand for steady soppin
  • For a vegan version just eliminate the beef and pasta. There are more than enough vegetables present for this dish to remain filling.
  • Don't forget about the scotch bonnet simmering in your pot. You leave it simmering too long, it will break down, releasing those fiery seeds into your soup.
  • With the mixture of herbs, peppers, meat, and multiple vegetables, you don't have to get crazy with the spices. Spices will play the role of unifying the variety of flavors.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 1559mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10093IU | Vitamin C: 108mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 6mg
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