Haitian Pumpkin and Beef Soup (Soup Joumou)
Our version of Haiti's pumpkin soup, joumou, is rich yet light, with a flavorful pumpkin-based broth and tender pieces of beef, butternut squash and potato. Two scotch bonnet peppers—a banner ingredient in Haitian cuisine—give this soup a spicy backdrop; we studded ours with cloves, a tip we took from Sophia Sanon in Montreal. If you can't find scotch bonnets, habañeros worked well, too. You should end up with about 2 pounds of meat after trimming a 3-pound boneless beef chuck roast; trim as much visible fat as possible. The beef for the soup can be cooked up to 24 hours ahead of time; cover and refrigerate until needed.
habañero or scotch bonnet chilies
01Press 4 cloves into each of the chilies, then set aside. Use paper towels to pat the meat dry, then season with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until just smoking. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining beef, 2 cups of the broth, the bay leaves and 1 clove-studded chili. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender, about 2 hours.
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