Haitian Proverb: Sonje lapli ki leve mayi ou – Remember the rain that made your corn grow
Haiti is situated directly in the middle of a hurricane belt and experiences frequent natural disasters with catastrophic consequences. In 2010 Haiti suffered the biggest earthquake seen in the country for over 200 years. Of the population of 10.5 million; between 200,000 to 300,000 people lost their lives, many more injured and over 1 and a half million left homeless.
Five years on Haiti is still recovering from the devastation of the earthquake. In 2014 Action Against Hunger helped 310,051 people primarily with health care and access to clean water.
Donate here to support their work: https://www.justgiving.com/Sophia-Vassie
On the 1st January 1804 Haiti declared independence from the French colonisers. The Haitian Revolution is known to be the only uprising that successfully led to the overthrowing of the slave owners and a republic ruled by the former slaves. Amongst many other things, the slave owners put bans on what Haitians could and couldn’t eat, including pumpkin which the French considered a particular delicacy.
Traditionally eaten on New Years Day, this soup became a symbol of independence and freedom with Haitians no longer having to abide by the dietary restrictions the slave owners had placed on them.
And an unrelated interesting fact: the barbecue originated in Haiti!
- 1 large butternut squash or medium sized pumpkin
- 1 large leek
- 1 celery stick
- 2 small potatoes
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 scotch bonnet chillis
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 1 handful of fresh sage and thyme
- Chicken stock
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
Start by cutting butternut squash rubbing with oil, sage, thyme and seasoning then roasting until caramelised.
In a saucepan sweat chopped leeks, garlic, onion, celery and parsley stalks with the remaining sage and thyme. Once softened add the the chilli (add more than two if you like it spicy!) potatoes and roasted butternut squash to the pan and cover with chicken stock.
Meanwhile make a parsley oil by very finely chopping parsley and mixing with olive oil.
Once the vegetables have all cooked through turn off the heat and blitz everything in a blender. Pass through a sieve for an even smoother consistency. Check seasoning and serve with drizzled parsley oil.
In Haiti Soup Joumou is traditionally served with chunks of braised beef, this is a vegetarian version but the meaty original can be easily made in exactly the same way, remembering to remove the meat before blitzing. It’s also popular to put thin pasta in with it for extra body!
Today on 1 January 2016 I can very proudly say that together we have raised an amazing £560 for Action Against Hunger so far. Let’s match it and more this year!
Here’s to a fantastic 2016 🙂
Remember to donate to Action Against Hunger by following this link: https://www.justgiving.com/Sophia-Vassie