Sunday, December 30, 2007


Traditionally, we Africans of the diaspora have certain dishes we eat to bring in the New Year. I have really been inspired by the Haitian revolution lately...I think Nana Ezili Danto's energy has been strong lately. I found a recipe for a soup that has been passed down within the Haitian community since the revolution. It is said one should eat this on January 1st to bring prosperity and liberation. I am also including a recipe for vegan black eyed peas - another dish eaten on the New Year for prosperity. I have found some great recipes at Fat Free Vegan.

follow the directions on the package.
For great vegan peas. Soak beans overnight. Rinse and cover with water and boil. Add vegetable boullion to the pot and some chopped celery and a chipotle pepper. Allow to cook for the time recommended on package. Close to the time the beans are cooked - take a separate pot and saute' fine chopped garlic and chopped onion in olive oil until translucent (do not burn the garlic). Add the garlic, onion and olive oil mixture to the pot and stir. Continue to cook at a low heat until you have tender beans. Serve with collard greens and cornbread.

On January 1st, 1804, when independence was declared, the custom began to serve Soup Joumou which had been forbidden to slaves! Every New Years day, Haitians around the world make it and eat it and share it precisely to remember the past and to hope for the future.
I am vegan so I am going to think of ways to substitute the meat contents of this recipe. I think I will use marinated tofu squares deep fried instead of beef or I could see if I can find a beef-like substitute?? Any suggestions???
Soup Joumou (serves 6)
meat rub made by grinding 4 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 sliced scallions into 2 teaspoons of salt
1-pound piece of beef stew meat
3 quarts water (more, later in the cooking, as needed for a soupy consistency)
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper left whole with stem
2 pounds pumpkin (or winter squash like butternut), peeled and chopped
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery sliced lengthwise and cut into pieces
1 large onion cubed
2 medium turnips peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1 pound malanga peeled and cubed (if not available, substitute 3 more potatoes)
1 pound cabbage sliced fine and chopped
1/4 pound vermicelli or other thin pasta, broken into shorter lengths
2 limes juiced
1. Rub the meat with the spice paste and let marinate for at least an hour.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a large soup pot, add the meat and chile pepper, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours.
3. Add the carrots and pumpkin, cover the pot, and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove meat and pepper from the pot, discarding the pepper. Puree the pumpkin and carrots in the broth and pour back into the pot. When the meat is cool enough to handle, cut it into cubes and add back into the pot.
4. Add the celery, onion, turnips, potato, and malango cubes to the soup, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Thin the broth with as much water as needed--it should not be too thick.
5. Scrape in the cabbage and cook 15 more minutes. Thin again with water, as needed.
6. Add the broken vermicelli and cook until it is tender. Thin again with water, as needed.
7. Taste and correct for seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the lime juice.
8. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit until ready to serve.

DAY 22 (write it down, meditate for 15 min, journal your thoughts)
22. I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my good.