Soupe Joumou (Haitian Pumpkin Soup) Soupe Au Giramoun

"Yum!! Yesterday was January 1st and as in all the years before (don't know how many), I had the soup for lunch and it was awesome! This is the real traditional recipe. One very distinctive feature of the soup is that the beef it calls for is rubbed with the juice of limes or sour oranges before being added to the pot. This lends to the soup a slightly sour tang, a welcome balance to the pumpkin's sweetness, but also an apt metaphor for the Haitian Revolution's bittersweet legacy. It is a great image. No wonder this soup has become the touchstone of Haiti's fervent wish for peace and freedom. A symbol of communion and brotherhood, that shines through today's dark days of poverty and continuing political strife. The Haitians around the world make it and eat it not to celebrate the New Year but to commemorate Independence Day, remembering the past and to hope for the future. During slavery, only the French colonists could drink this delicious and sweet-smelling meal on special occasions while slaves were to drink simple bread soup. Well, on January 1st 1804, during the Independence celebration when this country became the world's first independent black republic, an enormous pot of pumpkin soup was invented and everyone present was served a bowl to show that we as descendants of slaves could unite and produce something extraordinary. That is one of the reasons why we drink this soup with such great passion! This is a Mirta Yunet-Thomas recipe from The Taste of Haiti. The Soupe Joumou or Soupe Au Giramoun is prepared with Boulettes de Pate or Donmbwey (Dumplings) as well as vermicelli (of all kinds) and is made with Pikliz (Haitian Spicy Vinegar) as well as served with it. Resting time for the meat to marinate is up to 24 hours, not included in recipe. Update - 01/02/2008 had the soup once more and this time a Haitian nurse asked to see "my" recipe - I think it was out of curiosity - anyway she said it was very good! :)"
photo by Felipe M. photo by Felipe M.
photo by Felipe M.
photo by Zadina C. photo by Zadina C.
Ready In:
2hrs 40mins




  • In a medium pot, cook pumpkin and 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (do not cut, just prick once or twice) over medium heat in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Discard the pepper.
  • Purée pumpkin in the water.
  • While pumpkin is cooking, clean meat with lime or sour oranges, rinse with cold water and drain.
  • Make a meat rub by grinding 4 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 sliced scallions into 2 teaspoons salt.
  • Rub meat with spice mixture. Let it rest for at least 1 hour.
  • Marinate meat with scallions, onion, garlic, shallot, chives, green pepper, pikliz, salt and black pepper. You can marinate meat from 1 hour up to one day in advance for flavor enhancement.
  • In stockpot, add the meat with 1 cup water and cook covered over medium heat for 40 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups water and puréed pumpkin and bring to a boil for 40 minutes.
  • Add celery, cabbage, leek, carrots and whole cloves.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  • In a bowl, mix flour, salt and 1 cup water, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Using a tablespoon, mold dumplings into desired shape in your hand and add to boiling water. They usually take on the shape of spaetzels.
  • Add pasta, potatoes, hot pepper, and butter and spoon in dumplings.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Taste it.
  • If it needs more salt and/or pepper, add to taste.
  • ENJOY!

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  1. It came out really good and my husband says thank you! I made two batches, one for my Jamaican Landlord and one for our family. Its nice to share a page of Haitian Independence with people you love and care about.
    • Review photo by Zadina C.
  2. This is my favorite! Thanx for adding the history behind it as well


  1. Just made this and the tweaks I added were more vermicelli and macaroni. I marinated the beef 2 days in advance because of little ones at home, for more time efficiency and flavor. I also used organic Pumpkin Puree, Organic Cabbage and Carrots. Also, no maggi, just my regular seasonings and herbs. Thanks for the recipe!


<p>Hello all, thank you for visiting My Page but forgive me for&nbsp;it is a work in progress! :) As I am sure you have noticed I changed my Chef Name to Manami which means love &amp; beauty. ;) Just thought I should get with the program - my geisha &amp; my icon! :) Don't fret, I won't change it again! <br /><br />I am 70 years young and I live in a nursing home, which is out of this world, I am treated like a princess and the world is my oyster! I have a private room and during the season I do taxes for most of the staff, as well as my personal clients that have been following me since I left the business world about 25 years ago. I was rear-ended by a van and it turned my whole world upside down. Why dwell on that? <br /><br />I am an American Jew (from NYC) who moved to Havana, Cuba when I was 2 1/2 years old, lived there until a few days after Castro took over and vamoosed it out of that country as fast as my legs would carry me! I&nbsp;was on a forced hiatus from the UofM, due to illness. <br /><br />From there my sister, mother and I went to NYC to work and my father went to Haiti in Port-Au-Prince, where he and my uncle had purchased some tiny cocoa plantations &amp; a chocolate factory - for the choccolate liquer - to make baking chocolate (the real bitter stuff). We joined my father about 2 months later where I spent 2 of the most carefree &amp; wonderful years of my life! It is the stuff that movies are made of! (A la Grace Kelly - even my clothes were like hers)&gt;&nbsp;</p> <p>I then continued my studies in upstate NY and hated it because it was too, too cold!:( Went back to NYC to work and see what I wanted to do with my life - I was all of 20 years old and had to drop out of school because of illness and then because of the weather! Yuck - so I got a job in a Textile Buying Office as a receptionist and soon I found myself buying trimmings! Loved it and was very happy with the work I was doing. <br /><br />However, I got an offer from two young guys who had a factory in Cleveland, Ohio, where they made Maternity Clothes and they wanted me to be in charge of the shipping dept, keep inventory and in my spare time - help with the designing!! I couldn't pass it up - the offer sounded so great and the salary was twice what I was making in the NYC. So I went to Cleveland, got married, had both my children and got a divorce 15 years later. <br /><br />Then my children and I moved to South Florida and have been here since 1978, I can't count that far back :) <br /><br />Learned how to do taxes with H&amp;R Block and worked simultaneously&nbsp;as a Supervisor in 2 offices&nbsp;for them for 15 years. Then after the accident everything went spiralling downwards until I could no longer walk alone even with a walker - so the next step was a wheelchair. Stayed at home with a lot of help (nurses, PT therapists) fixed the bathroom so I could bathe myself and fixed the kitchen so I could help warm-up meals (was taught how to cook in rehab) and so forth and so on. <br /><br />However, the fire department had other plans for me, I called them too often to pick me up off the floor - how embarassing! So they gave me a choice - either a home or they would have to call HRS! :( (very sad) <br /><br />It was there, in my home where I was robbed! <img title=Cry src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-cry.gif border=0 alt=Cry />&nbsp;All my cookbooks (all my Julia Childs Cookbooks, my Settlement Cookbook which had been my mothers - published in 1939 - with all her notes) my mother's cookbooks from Cuba &amp; Haiti, all my handwritten recipes. They also took all my Delft collection, some antiques that I had in the kitchen like my rolling pin, a beautiful old &amp; used wooden bowl, a charcoal-iron that was brought north when my parents left Haiti, it was hand-painted &amp; was gorgeous, as well as all the other things that are too numerous to mention! <br /><br />That proved to be the last straw &amp; from there it was an ALF,<img title=Yell src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-yell.gif border=0 alt=Yell /> which was horrible, and then on to another home where the administrator of that home became the administrator here and voila, here I am. <img title=Smile src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif border=0 alt=Smile /></p> <p>I have a beautiful large private room with a private&nbsp;bath, furnished to my liking: eclectic!&nbsp;<img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /> My room is large enough to house my office and all the other odds and ends with which I like to surround myself.<br /><br />During tax season, mostly, my room is always full (of course I love it that way)! I have a blanket&nbsp;my daughter bought for me in New Mexico and that is on my bed. You guessed it - that is where everbody sits or on my great grandfather's arm chair which is in great shape. <img title=Smile src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif border=0 alt=Smile />&nbsp;Update 01/11/2008 that time is here again :) Have started doing taxes already and not just regular taxes but corporations, partnerships and 1040X - ammended returns! Whoopee! I love the feeling I get when this time comes around and I get into gear!!! I love it! :) <br /><br />The head chef, the kitchen supervisor &amp; the dietician enjoy the recipes from Zaar; the ones that I post, as well as, the others. We are in the process of changing the menu right now - so we have been doing a lot of figuring. The administrator is so cute because every once in a while she asks for a recipe and then she gives me a pack of paper so I can print them. <img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /><br /><br />I am president of the resident council and most of the family members come to me to take care of their grievances - this way I do my part - and the staff can take care of the larger problems! It has been working for 10 years - why change if it ain't broke?<img title=Wink src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif border=0 alt=Wink /></p> <p>Well, it's time to say hasta luego folks. <img title=Laughing src=/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-laughing.gif border=0 alt=Laughing /><br /><br /></p>
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