(Haitian Pumpkin Soup)
- 1 lb fresh pumpkin/12 oz frozen or canned
- 8 cups water
- 1 lb cubed stew meat/turkey parts
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lb soup bones (optional)
- 1 spring fresh thyme/1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 potatoes, cubed
- ¼ small cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 turnip, diced (optional)
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 scotch bonnet/hot pepper (optional)
- ¼ lb spaghetti, broken in pieces
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Peel and coarsely chop fresh pumpkin. Add to large pot along with water, meat/turkey, salt pepper, garlic, thyme, cloves, bones, celery and onion. Bring to a boil; lower heat, cover and simmer about one hour or until meat is tender. Remove pumpkin with a little of the broth and puree in the blender. Return fresh pumpkin to pot and add potatoes, cabbage, turnip, carrots, parsley and hot pepper (be careful not to break the skin of the pepper, as it is very hot). Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer until the vegetables are almost done. If using frozen or canned pumpkin, add at this time. Add the spaghetti and lime juice. Bring to a boil again and cook until spaghetti is done, about 10 min. Remove pepper and stir to blend ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste. For a festive touch, serve inside the empty pumpkin shell.
During the fight for Haitian Independence in the early 1800's, the French forces would not allow the slaves to eat pumpkin soup because it was considered too sophisticated a delicacy for the slaves’ pedestrian palates. So, when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti a free republic in January of 1804 (making them the world’s first black-led free republic), pumpkin soup became a symbol of Haitian freedom from oppression. Now, every year Haitians make this delicious Pumpkin soup recipe in January in celebration of Haitian Independence Day!
No two Haitian cooks make their soup the same and when they go to visit family and friends on the first day of January, they take a little soup with them and share it with their friends who puts the soup in the pot with their own soup and which makes the soup become a very blended and wonderful tasting treat!