News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 10, 2017: When the weather gets cold, we all want to eat warm comforting foods that adds all the nutrients that we need in one sitting.
Hearty soups are the best food for wintry months and to find some very good hearty soups, the best ones are in the Caribbean.
One of my favorite hearty soups is Haitian Pumpkin soup. This soup is eaten by Haitians on New Year ’s Day in commemoration of Haiti’s Independence day. It was on January 1, 1804, that Haiti became the world’s first independent black republic by defeating the French.
Haitian pumpkin soup is filled with protein (meat), vegetables and carbohydrate and it is very flavorful and filling. I love having this soup for breakfast on Sunday mornings with freshly baked Haitian hard dough bread. I usually buy Haitian Pumpkin Soup from the Haitian restaurants in my neighborhood but here is the recipe you can try at home.
Beef marinate made by crushing 4 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon pepper, shallot and 2 sliced scallions and 2 teaspoons of salt.
2lbs beef stew meat
10 cups water (add more later if necessary to make soup less thick)
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper with stem
3 pounds pumpkin (or winter squash/butternut), peeled and chopped (2 packages frozen squash will also do.)
2 large carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery sliced lengthwise and cut into pieces
5 parsley sprigs
1 large onion cubed
2 medium turnips peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1 pound cabbage sliced fine and chopped
1/4 pound thin pasta, broken into shorter lengths
2 limes juiced
1 low sodium beef bouillon cube
Crush 4 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon pepper, shallot and 2 sliced scallions and 2 teaspoons of salt.
1. In a large pot, cook pumpkin over medium heat in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Purée pumpkin in the water.
2. While pumpkin is cooking, clean meat with lime, rinse with hot water and drain.
3. Marinate beef with beef marinate above. Marinate beef for 1 hour or up to one day in advance.)
4. In large stockpot, add the meat with the oil and brown by adding small amounts of water to caramelize the meat. Cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes.
5. Add 3 cups water and puréed pumpkin and bring to a boil.
6. Add the cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, turnips, tomato sauce, potato and parsley to the soup, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour with a whole scotch bonnet on top.
7. Cook until meat is tender.
8. Add the spaghetti broken in to short pieces and cook until soft and tender.
9. Taste for salt, black pepper or hot pepper to taste.
10. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit until ready to serve.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/bestfoodscaribbean/