Haitians around the world celebrate January 1st, Independence Day, cooking the traditional Soup Joumou (Calabaza pumpkin soup).  Looking at the nutrient contents for Soup Joumou, we should thank our ancestors for leading us to Independence while ensuring we stayed healthy.  

One serving (about 2 cups) of Soup Joumou contains:

  • Vitamin A (over 40% of your daily vitamin needs).
  • Vitamin B-12 (over 25% of your daily vitamin needs).
  • Vitamin B-6 (over 20% of your daily vitamin needs).
  • Vitamin C (over 25% of your daily vitamin needs).

In addition to these excellent source of vitamins, Soup Joumou is a good source of folate, Iron, Niacin, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Thiamin.  With the right meat choice Soup Joumou can be a low fat and low cholesterol soup. Choose lean meat as a healthier option.

With so many good things from Soup joumou. Here is a quick recipe and some great tips to make your Soup Joumou more enjoyable throughout the year.


Soup Joumou (Calabaza ‘pumpkin’ Soup)

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Number of Servings: 8
  • 8 oz Calabaza (Spanish Pumpkin), cooked
  • 2 cups Potatoes, raw, diced
  • 1 cup Turnips, diced
  • 1 cup Carrots, raw, diced
  • ¼ cup Celery, raw, small cut
  • 1 cup Cabbage, fresh, small cut, about 2 inches
  • 2 oz Vermicelli or Spaghetti
  • 1 lb Beef (choose lean meat)
  • 2 Tbsp  Chicken bouillon (or 2 bouillon cube)
  • 1 tsp of salt (optional)
  • 10 cups Water (or 4 cups of water and 6 cups of beef broth)

Step 1: Boil a raw Calabaza (Spanish pumpkin) or half.  Don’t peel the raw Calabaza. Calabaza has a very hard shell.  Instead, deep the Calabaza in hot water to make it easier to peel and cut.  Once peeled, boil until very soft.  Do not use the entire Calabaza unless you are making a large amount of soup.

Step 2: Add 8 oz of cooked Calabaza in a blender with 4 cups of water.


Check the consistency of the purée.  At this point it should be a little thick since you will be adding it to the beef broth.  

Step 3: Prepare and Cook your favorite meat/bone as desired.  Ensure that the meat is cooked in enough water to generate at least 6 cups of broth.  

Step 4: Add the Calabaza purée to the cooked meat and broth. Let boil.

Step 5: Add vegetables.  Let boil. Dice or slice the vegetables for quicker cooking time.

Step 6: Add the pastas.  Turn off the heat right before the pastas are cooked.  Cover the pot for about 10 minutes.

Soup Joumou can get thick very quickly.  Please do not overcook.

Serve hot.

Bon Appétit!

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