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Haitian soup joumou

Joumou, a pumpkin soup with cabbage, carrots, turnips, squash and Scotch bonnet peppers, plays a part in the folklore of Haiti. This recipe was adapted by Lafontant Charles for BC Dining from the book “Breaking Bread” by Lynne Anderson.

YIELD: 8 servings

2 lbs. short rib, trimmed and cut into 1 ½” squares
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. adobo
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1 large West Indies pumpkin (or substitute butternut squash), peeled, seeded, cut into 2” chunks
8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs culantro (or substitute cilantro)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1-2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
stock, broth or water, as needed for pot
1 lb. red potatoes, washed, diced ½” and cooked just until tender
1 cup dried pasta such as cavatappi, cooked to al dente

1. Marinate meat in garlic, lime juice and adobo overnight. Remove from marinade and discard excess marinade. Season meat with salt and pepper. In heavy pot, heat oil until shimmering and sear the meat cubes on each side in small batches.
2. Pour off oil and add beef back into pot with onion, celery and carrot. Add broth, stock or water to just cover, by 1” and bring up to low simmer. Braise until tender, about 2 hours.
3. Remove meat from liquid and add pumpkin or butternut, thyme and culantro and cook until all vegetables are soft. Remove thyme and cilantro sprigs and puree soup until smooth, using a blender or stick blender. Add beef back into pot. Adjust seasoning. Just before serving, add cooked potato and cooked pasta.

Photo: Boston College

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