Haitian Beef and Pumpkin Soup (Soup Joumou)

Traditionally served on by Haitians on January 1st to celebrate Haiti's liberation from France, this savory soup is economical to make and a total crowd-pleaser. We've used pumpkin in our version of this recipe, but feel free to substitute a kabocha or butternut squash, if you like. This recipe makes 6-8 servings.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 hours 20 minutes

For the beef marinade:
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 habanero chile, stemmed and seeded (wear gloves to handle the chile)
Juice from 1 fresh lime
1/2 cup water
1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1/2" pieces

Remaining soup ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups beef stock
2 carrots, washed and cut into 1" pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1" pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
4 ounces dried rigatoni pasta
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Add beef to a large nonreactive bowl. Combine all marinade ingredients except for beef in a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Pour marinade over beef, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove beef from marinade, shake of excess marinade and set beef aside; discard marinade. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-high on the stove top. Add oil and let heat until shimmering. Add beef and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until beef is browned, about 8-10 minutes. Once meat is browned, season with salt and pepper and add stock, making sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is fork-tender.

Add pumpkin to soup, stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook for another 15 minutes. Add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Let soup cool for about 10 minutes before garnishing with parsley and serving.