The history of pumpkin soup begins with the celebration of Haitian Independence in 1804. On Jan. 1, 1804, Haitians worked together to create a unique soup to celebrate their independence from the French Colonists. Until that time, the Colonists believed that the blacks under their rule could never work together to create anything. Today, the traditional pumpkin soup known as “soup joumou,” is made and served to friends and family in Haiti in remembrance of their fight for freedom.
While under French Colonial rule, Haitians were limited to eating a bland bread soup. They would not have been permitted to eat such an extravagant meal comprised of pumpkin, beef stock and other vegetables. This unique soup was created as a symbol of unity in the face of adversity. It was served to everyone at the first Independence celebration and Haitians continue this tradition today.
Haitians believe the fight for equality isn’t over yet. They believe the pumpkin soup gives them courage to persevere over oppression, both now and in the future.
We look forward to joining in this tradition here in Haiti.