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Soup Joumou or Calabaza Squash Soup with Beef

Calabaza Soup with Beef

Soup Joumou, also known as Calabaza Squash Soup with Beef, is a hearty and flavorful Haitian dish that holds immense cultural significance. It’s traditionally served on Haitian Independence Day, January 1st, to commemorate the country’s liberation from French colonial rule in 1804.

The article can further discuss the history and significance of Soup Joumou, along with the recipe itself:

  • History and Cultural Significance: Soup Joumou’s origins date back to the brutal times of slavery. During French rule, enslaved people were forbidden from eating pumpkin, a food they cultivated but weren’t allowed to consume. On the momentous day of Haitian independence, Haiti’s newly freed people declared pumpkin soup, now known as Soup Joumou, a national dish to be enjoyed on Independence Day.
  • Recipe: The recipe for Soup Joumou varies slightly from household to household, but it typically includes calabaza squash (pumpkin), beef, scotch bonnet peppers, green bananas, leafy green vegetables, and a blend of aromatics and spices.

What is Calabaza Squash

Calabaza squash is a type of winter squash with a long creeping vine that is native to Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is a popular ingredient in Haitian cuisine, and there are many different ways to cook it.

Calabaza Squash Soup with Beef
Calabaza Squash

Here are some key facts about calabaza squash:

  • It is a type of squash, but also called a pumpkin or gourd.
  • It is a winter squash, meaning it is harvested in the summer, but reaches its peak in the fall and winter months.
  • It can range from cantaloupe size to watermelon size.
  • Its skin can range in color from green to a light tan.
  • Its flesh can also range in color, but most common is bright orange or yellow.
  • It has a creamy texture and mild flavor.
  • It is commonly sold pre-cut into large chunks in fresh markets and wrapped in plastic for ease of use.
Calabaza Squash

Tips for making Calabaza Squash Soup

  • Use fresh ingredients, if you can.
  • You can add chicken, beef, or seafood to the soup. Cook the meat or poultry before adding it to the soup.
  • Use the leftover cooking liquid from the meat to season the soup.
  • Saute the onion and leeks with fresh herbs and spices before adding them to the soup.
  • Keep the root vegetables in water to prevent them from browning.
  • Freeze fresh squash for up to 3 months.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan option: Cook the squash and saute the vegetables with oil, onion, and NouBess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce. Season the broth with a mixture of fresh herbs and spices.
Calabaza Soup with Beef

Variations for Calabaza Squash Soup

This soup can be prepared in many different ways. Most Calabaza soup recipes contain meat or poultry and rarely seafood. The most common seafood is shrimp.

  • Seafood: season the shrimp with Noubess Seafood Seasoning, olive oil and lemon juice and marinate for at least fifteen minutes before adding it to the squash mixture.
  • Beef: season the beef with Noubess Steak Seasoning, olive oil, lemon, thyme, parsley, and onion and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Cook meat until fully cooked. Use meat cooking liquid to season the soup.
  • Poultry: season the chicken pieces with Noubess Poultry Seasoning, with thyme, lemon, parsley, onion, salt, and pepper. Marinate for at least 60 minutes overnight. Cook poultry separately from veggies and soup for 30 – 40 minutes before adding the pieces. You can also bake or roast the chicken before placing it in the stock up with the veggies and the squash mixture.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Cook the squash as you normally would. Sautee the vegetables with oil, onion, and Noubess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce. Season the broth with a mixture of fresh herbs and spices.

Here’s the recipe for this delicious soup. Make your version of soup joumou today and let us know what you think.

Calabaza Soup with Beef

How to make Calabaza Squash Soup with Beef with Noubess seasonings

Deliciously squash soup is rich in flavor, cooked with a mixture of vegetables, herbs, spices, and perfectly marinated beef. For added flavor, Add Noubess condiments and spices.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Course Soups
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 8
Calories 530 kcal


  • 4 pounds beef stew
  • 2 tbsp Noubess Steak Seasoning
  • 1 large onion sliced or 2 medium
  • 2 – 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 – 3 sprigs parsley
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Calabaza squash about 3 pounds, or butternut squash
  • 4 gloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 leeks sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 large carrots sliced
  • 2 medium turnips sliced
  • 3 – 4 potatoes sliced or cut in large cubes
  • 2 rib celery sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup cabbage chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup pasta noodles or spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice


  • After cleaning meat, place in large pot, add lemon juice, Noubess Steak Seasoning, 3 tbsp olive oil, onion, thyme, parsley, and tomatoes. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Cook meat until fully cooked on medium high. Add warm water only if necessary. 
  • Wash the squash, remove the skin with a sharp knife, and remove seeds. Cut the squash in cubes and place in a large pot, enough water to cover. Boil for 20 – 25 minutes until fully cooked. Turn off heat and let cool.  
  • When completely cool, puree squash with a little bit of cooking water. You may have to puree the squash pieces in batches. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot, add the remaining olive oil, leeks, celery, and onion. Sautee for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add squash puree, remaining ingredients but not the noodles or the meat. Add meat cooking water and chicken stock only and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes. Add meat and pasta noodles. Continue to cook until noodles are fully cooked. Season to taste. If additional liquid is needed, only add hot water. 
    Calabaza Soup with Beef
  • Serve with bread, preferably. 
    Calabaza Soup with Beef


Season with more spices such as Noubess Poultry Seasoning, and salt, pepper. For more kick, season with Noubess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce. 
Condiments and Spices
Condiments and Spices


Calories: 530kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 55gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 604mgPotassium: 1554mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 13325IUVitamin C: 67mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 7mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword Caribbean Cooking, Caribbean Recipes, easy cooking, Haitian Soup Joumou, holidays recipes, soup, Soup Day
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tried this recipe?Mention @noubesscaribbean or tag #noubesscaribbean!

Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

Calabaza Soup with Beef
Ingredients for Soup

Originally published on January 1, 2019. Revised and updated.

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