Holidays in Philly

Soup joumou recipe: Good luck New Year’s dish from Haiti

Bring fortune by eating this to start 2018.

Soup Joumou, also known as Haiti's 'soup of independence'

Soup Joumou, also known as Haiti's 'soup of independence'

Melissa Delzlo / Flickr Creative Commons

For many Pennsylvania families, New Year’s Day means chowing down on pork and sauerkraut. But pork and sauerkraut isn’t the only way to attract fortune. Cultures around the world each have their own lucky New Year’s dishes.

Quite a few of these are represented in Philly, including this dish enjoyed by people in Haiti. Chef Sylva Senat of Maison 208 provided the following recipe.

Soup Joumou

by Sylva Senat

Base broth

4 onions
10 carrots
1 celery root
2 fennel
3 leeks
6 sprigs thyme
3 parsley leaves
1 rosemary branch
1 bay leaf
½ green cabbage

2 C white mushrooms
Olive oil
6 pc salted ham hock
½ tbsp black pepper
3 gallons water

Slice all vegetables and sweat in olive oil. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours then add below ingredients. Remove ham hock to place in final soup.

6 lb butternut squash (or pumpkin)
2¼ c cream, heavy
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper, ground
Cayenne pepper to taste

Peel and cut squash into chunks. Combine the squash and stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. Purée the mixture in a blender. Blend in the cream, along with the butter, some salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.

Final soup 

3 cup butternut squash peeled, diced and blanched
2 cups penne pasta or spaghetti
4 shallots, chopped
10 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp kosher salt / to taste

Sautée shallots in butter, add soup and squash and cook till pasta is al dente. Pour in large deep bowl.


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