this soup is to be had at midnight on new years or if you can’t swing that with all the drunken partying that you were doing, it can also be the first meal of the new year.  i just like to have it whenever i have the time to make it.

it was created by empress dessaline when haiti was fighting the french for their independence to feed the soldiers.  without the meat, it is really inexpensive.  it’s not the much pricier with it, either.  over time the colors gained significance as our five gourde bill (remember those, fellow haitians?) was the same bright orange color.  the turnips are traditionally cut into rounds to symbolize coins.  it is the soup of prosperity and happiness.  we won our independence on january 1st, 1804.

there are as many variations on the soup as there are home cooks.  here’s the one i made this year:

(pretend there’s a picture here.  i have one but for some reason my mac is holding out on me.  blog blocker.)

edit: jan 9 here’s the pic!

you’ll need a skillet and a soup pot.


a pound or two of meat-stew beef is great as well as chicken on the bone

16 oz canned pumpkin (do NOT get the stuff is all spiced up for pumpkin pie, just straight pumpkin)

16 oz chicken broth

4-6 celery wands diced small

1 onion diced small

4-6 carrots diced small

3-5 turnips sliced into rounds

1 small cabbage shredded

thyme 1-2 tablespoons

a bunch of fresh parsley chopped fine

butter for browning the meat

salt and pepper to taste

1. take your meat and dry it well with paper towels or  a dish towel you don’t mind staining, salt it and pepper it

2. heat the skillet (you want it nice and hot!)

3. add some butter to the skillet

4. brown your meat in batches-don’t flip it until it is deep brown with a little crust (you can achieve this a lot easier if you don’t crowd the meat)

5. when all the meat is browned set it aside, turn off the heat under the skillet but keep it on the stove

6. add butter to your pot

7. when it melts, toss in your celery, onion, carrots, thyme and half your parsley

8. when it is all translucent, take a tablespoon or two of your broth and use it to scrape all the browned butter and meat bits from your skillet-add that to the veggies in your soup pot

9. when well incorporated add in the rest of the broth and the meat and bring to a boil

10. gently incorporate your pumpkin in spoonfuls stirring it in, add the cabbage and boil for 5-10 minutes

11.  add the turnips and turn the soup down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes

12. turn the soup off and add the parsley-salt and pepper to taste

13. serve it up!

here’s to your health and prosperity!