The U.N. cultural agency UNESCO’s declaration of Haitian’s traditional pumpkin soup known as “soup joumou” an intangible cultural value to humanity must have been a sweet way for the people of that country to end the year amid the social upheaval, trials, and tribulations that the nation continues to face.
The soup is nutrient-packed and a spicey delicacy that is typically enjoyed on New Year’s Day.
During the years of French colonial slavery, it was served only to slave masters, but it became a symbol of freedom for the nation’s majority Black population when Haiti gained independence on January 1, 1804.
“It is a celebratory dish, deeply rooted in Haitian identity, and its preparation promotes social cohesion and belonging among communities,” UNESCO wrote in a statement.
Other culinary traditions on UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list include the preparation of Korean fermented cabbage known as kimchi, a flattened sourdough bread called il-ftira made in Malta, and “hawker food” served on the streets of Singapore.
Below are the ingredients and the method of how to prepare this Haitian meal delight.
1 pound(s) Beef Stew Meat
10 cup(s) Water
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
2 pound (s) Pumpkin
2 Peeled Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
5 Parsley Sprigs
1 cup(s) Diced Onions
2 Peeled Turnips diced
2 Potatoes Cubed
1 pound(s) Cabbage chopped finely
1 pound(s) Thin Spaghetti
2 Tbs of Tomato Paste
1 cup(s) Tomato Sauce
In a medium pot, cook pumpkin over medium heat in 6 cups water for 30 minutes.
Puree pumpkin in the water.
While pumpkin is cooking, clean meat with lime, rinse with hot water and drain.
Marinate meat with meat rub or rub the meat with the spice paste-scallions, onion, thyme, garlic, shallot, green pepper, salt, and black pepper ground together. (For an enhanced flavor, you can marinate the meat from 1 hour up to one day in advance.)
In the stockpot, add the meat with the oil and tomato paste and brown by adding small amounts of water to caramelize the meat.
Cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add 3 cups water and puree pumpkin and bring to a boil.
Add the cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, turnips, tomato sauce, potato, and parsley to the soup, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour with a whole scotch bonnet on top.
(The whole scotch bonnet is for flavoring not to make the soup “hot”. Remember to find and remove the pepper as you stir the soup and remove it before it bursts)
Add the spaghetti broken into short pieces and cook until soft and tender.
Taste and add a minimal amount of salt, black pepper, or hot pepper to taste.
Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit until ready to serve.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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