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Haitian-Style Pumpkin and Beef Soup (Soup Joumou)

8 Servings

3½ hours

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Our version of Haiti's pumpkin and beef 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 give this soup a spicy backdrop; we studded ours with cloves, a tip we took from Haiti-born cook Sophia Sanon who now resides in Montreal. If you can't find Scotch bonnets, habaneros work 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 for up to three days.




Don't use pre-cubed meat sold as “beef for stew;” there's no way to know the cut of meat. And be sure to use canned pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

3½ hours


  • 8

    whole cloves

  • 2

    Scotch bonnet or habanero chilies


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Adriana S.
November 30, 2022
Comfort food
Pros: Delicious and comforting. I felt like I was eating something that was made with love by someone's grandmother. Added some rice at serving to give it a little more body. Naturally low sodium, I just added a teaspoon of salt and half of pepper, and my husband didn't ask for more at the table. Cons: Time consuming, but worth it. I may try to cut some corners next time and hope it doesn't affect the end flavor too much. I just can't spend 4 hours making soup.
Ludovic L.

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Kerri H.

This recipe is delicious! I was running short of time, so I sort of combined steps 3 and 4. I added the potatoes and squash to the broth mixture with the pumpkin puree still in, and did not strain the soup. I was really good! I can't wait to make it for a family dinner!

Sally O.

While shopping at H‑E‑B in San Antonio I found a bag of scotch bonnet peppers. I have been looking for them for several year to make a Trinidad stir-fry. I found this recipe when looking for what else I could make with my peppers. This soup is wonderful and well worth the effort. The meat is so delicious, it could be served on a pile of buttered noodles. I also made the slaw to accompany the soup. Thank you.