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!

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Zadina C.
    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. blakdiamondChef
    This is my favorite! Thanx for adding the history behind it as well


  1. Zadina C.
    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!



Find More Recipes