13-year struggle against the French rules, on January 1st 1804,
the slaves celebrated their victory in Gonaives as Haiti became the world's first independent black republic. Therefore, a huge pot of squash soup was concocted, and everyone present was served a bowl to show that we, as African descents, could unite and produce extraordinary deeds.
What better way to celebrate than with the very soup the slaves had been forbidden to eat, compared to one ounce of salted meat or fish, one bottle of lemonade or even bread soup. The traditional squash soup along with the celebration of Haiti's independence is a great symbol. A special communion to forever forge the bonds of brotherhood and commit to a bright national future. No wonder this soup has become the touchstone of Haiti's fervent wish for peace and freedom.
On January 1st, Haitians around the world make squash soup, drink it and share it precisely to remember the past and to hope for the future. Others yet said, it's a good luck charm for the new year to cleanse and purify a man or woman's soul and make them prophesy.
So every time we drink this fabulous stuffed squash soup with an opulence of meat and vegetable on January 1st, it reminds us of the commitment of the slaves towards peace, unity, brotherhood, freedom and hope for the future. A beacon that should forever shine through Haiti's difficult times and continuing fight to lift up Haiti and make it highly progressive and prosperous.
Below is a sample of squash soup recipe you can hopefully prepare to start a bright and healthy new year and enjoy it with your friends and family.
1 lb.cubed beef stew meat
2 lb. pumpkin (winter squash)
1 lb. cabbage sliced, chopped
3 carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery sliced and cut,
3 quarts water (more later if needed)
1 large onion cubed
6 medium potatoes
1 lb. malanga peeled and cubed or equivalent
3 medium sized turnips, peeled and cubed
2 limes cut in half and juiced
1/4 lb vermicelli, macaroni broken short
4 garlic cloves, 2 sliced scallions, 1 teaspoon thyme, 2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, all grinded or pounded
1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole with stem.(hot).
1. Clean the meat with hot water and lemon juice and set aside in a bowl.
2. Add the spice paste and let marinated for at least an hour.
3. Bring water to boil in stockpot, add meat and hot pepper, cover the pot and let cook until tender (about 1 ½- 2 hrs)
4. Add carrots and pumpkin to the tendered meat and continue cooking for 20 minutes
5. When pumpkin gets soft, remove and puree it in blender but, discard the chile pepper. Add the puree back into the pot.
6. Add the potatoes, celery, turnips, malanga cubes to the soup, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for another 20 minutes. Add water if necessary because you don't want the soup to be too thick.
7. Continue boiling until meat is tender and vegetables are cooked (1/2 hour).
8. Add vermicelli and macaroni or pasta and continue cooking until tender.
9. Taste and add seasoning at will, salt or hot pepper. Pour in lime juice and stir.
10. Turn off the heat, cover pot and let sit until ready to serve in medium size bowl. Put on the side a beautiful basket of sliced bread for 6 persons.
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It's always a tradition for Haitians around the world to savor squash soup (soup joumou in Creole), every January 1st in order to start a prosperous New Year and to commemorate Haiti's Independence Day. Having this delicious soup on New Year's Day is heavily rooted in our culture and our history.
During slavery, only the French colonists were able to drink this delicious and aromatic meal on special occasions while slaves were to drink simple bread soup. Then, after a savage
Symbol of Haiti's Independence
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Haitian Squash Soup (Recipe)