Haiti’s beloved soup joumou — pumpkin soup — will be served up this New Year’s Day with extra cause for celebration – it has been added to the United Nations Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.
Originally made for and eaten only by slave owners, Haitians appropriated the soup as their own when they gained independence from France on January 1st 1804.
It became a symbol of freedom and an expression of dignity and resilience. The soup is made with giraumon, a variety of pumpkin indigenous to the Caribbean.
It is prepared and eaten specifically on the first of January – Haiti’s Independence Day – the first meal of the year. And it’s also a common traditional Sunday breakfast.
Joumou or giraumon soup is made with vegetables, plantains, meat, pasta and spices.