Early in their friendship, Kevin Jean introduced Silka and Christian Swafford to the amazingness that is Soup Joumous. The rich and hearty soup is a very important part of Haitian culture as it celebrates not only the new year but also Haiti's independence on January 1st, 1804. Starting with a squash or pumpkin base, Kevin’s family adds beef (oxtail, short rib, or neck), potatoes, yucca, peppers (sweet and hot), carrots, celery, onion, spices and herbs. It's incredible aroma and gorgeously bright color make it the perfect dish to ring in the new year.
After years of nagging recipe and/or leftovers requests, Kevin and his mother have started a new New Years tradition - making an extra pot of soup just for Kevin to share with us. This year, we wanted to contribute something simple and green, so we picked up some beautiful Collards from the market along with some bread and Alpine cheese. Christian and Lauren joined us with beer and dessert, and we promptly got down to feasting. Before we knew it, we were happily slumped in our chairs, bellies full of warming soup and heads full of big plans for the new year.
Huge thanks to Kevin and Myrtha for their generosity each and every delicious New Year! Bon Bagay!
We're going to hold on to the Soup Joumou recipe for a little while longer, in the hopes that Kevin and Myrtha open a Haitian Food Truck and make millions off their secret recipe. Instead, by popular demand, here is our recipe for collards with bacon which can easily be adapted for kale, chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and other hearty greens.
Sauteed Greens with Bacon
+ 3 lbs of collards, or other hearty greens, washed and cut into 2 in slices (or if sprouts, cut in half)
+ 1 lb of roughly-cut bacon (preferably bacon ends)
+ salt and pepper to taste
1.Cut the bacon into big chunks and saute over high heat in a large skillet.
2. When bacon begins to crisp, add greens and turn heat down to medium-high. You could also throw in some sliced garlic at this point.
3. Saute for 5-10 minutes. When the green have wilted, add a 1/2 cup of water.
4. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. The greens should be tender and dark in color.
5. Serve sprinkled with red pepper flakes and a splash of apple cider vinegar.