I've made different versions of Haitian Pumpkin Soup since about 1993 when my good friend and neighbor Eugene Guillaume of the Consulate General of Haiti in Tokyo taught me the ropes. The beefy version.
And in the last 25 years I have featured Miami Beach's fantastic Tap Tap restaurant and bar on the tour I give visiting relatives and friends because of its own terrific, scotch-bonnet powered and very authentic pumpkin soup. (Go on a Thursday or Saturday to catch the live music jam.).
And here I have a new version loosely adapted from The Hungry Hounds food blog. It took about an hour today.
I wish I had some French bread to go with it but it'll be just fine if I can find some bowls to share it in about an hour.
You will need a baking sheet, a stock pot, a skillet, a food processor and an immersion mixer (mine is a Braun).
- 2 large butternut squash, peeled, cut up and salted
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 5-6 stalks of young celery, including leaves
- 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 5 large carrots, peeled
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- lots of salt
- 1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced into large pieces
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- jalapeño pepper, de-seeded, rinsed and diced
- 6-8 cloves (more if stale like mine were)
- 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
- Fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 425. Do your chopping and peeling while it comes to temperature. Mine takes forever!
Put some olive oil in a small skillet and add the cubed potatoes. Add cayenne pepper, cloves and nutmeg. After a few minutes add 1/2 cup of water to soften the potatoes. They should be cooked before you include them in the soup.
On a baking sheet with foil, roast the squash, red pepper and carrot pieces for about 20 minutes.
In a large stock pot, sauté diced onion until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and let it become golden.
Add 6 of water (pre heated in microwave will speed things up) and let it come up to a strong simmer.
Remove the tray from the oven when the pumpkin is done (a fork can easily cut through any chunk) and use tongs to put all the baked pumpkin, carrot and peppers into the food processor. It may take 3-4 batches to get it all done.
You may want to add up to another 2 cups of water at this point to adjust the thickness of your soup. Use the immersion blender if needed to remove any remaining chunks. It should be smooth. I had lots of these.
Stir in the potato cubes, tomato chunks, chopped celery (and greens), balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and fresh thyme leaves.
Let it simmer another 1/2 hour if possible before serving.