Haitians not only are celebrating the New Year, but also their Independence Day. They walk from house to house to pay family and friends the first visit of the New Year, and enjoy the traditional soupe joumou (pronounced joo-moo), a mildly spicy pumpkin or squash soup.
It was on the 1st of January 1804 that Quisqueya or Ayiti, as Haiti used to be called by its first inhabitants, made history by becoming the world’s first independent black republic through a slave rebellion led by general Toussaint L’Ouverture.
When the French were in control, a law stipulated that only they could savour the squash soup. It was also their custom to consume the soup on New Year’s Day.
Haitians have ever since been making the once forbidden soup on the first day of the year as a celebration of Haiti’s liberation from France and remembrance that all is equal, with a celebratory "Bonne Fête Compatriotes"!* Here is this comforting pumpkin soup recipe for those cold winter days.
Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you all the best!
* Happy national day fellow countrymen!