Quick and easy smooth squash soups with a twist: croutons of pain d’épices aka honey and spices gingerbread, previously pan fried in butter to become caramelized. Comforting and delicious.
In my husband’s family, pain d’épices honey and spices gingerbread is a big affair. His great aunt (which is actually also his godmother) who lived in Brittany use to bake this pain d’épices (the French word for our honey and spices gingerbread) all the time. She never gave the recipe to anybody as she use to bake pain d’épices herself and offer them. And one day, she gave me her recipe, and on top of this she gave me the permission to publish it on the blog. You can find it here (or use for this soup recipe the gingerbread you’re used to or find in stores / bakers where you live).
To come back to the recipe, we love to eat pain d’épices for breakfast with a thick layer of salted butter (I know, this might be strange for you) but I also use it for many savory recipes: I make pain d’épices breadcrumbs or toasts for example, or like here prepare cubes that I pan fry in butter for a few minutes on each side. Pain d’épices caramelizes a bit and becomes incredibly crispy and flavorful croutons! Absolutely decadent. With a pumpkin soup it’s a delight. Why don’t you try?
The recipe is quick and easy: a soup (or the soup you’re use to cook), pain d’épices croutons and any other topping you may like, here a dash of crème fraîche and a bit of parmesan cheese.
Pumpkin Soup with Caramelized Gingerbread Croutons
- 800 gr pumpkin or other squash you like, butternut for example
- 1 onion
- 4 thick slices gingerbread see my pain d’épices recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter or your usual oil
- 1/2 liter water
- 10 cl cream / crème fraîche or milk or vegetal milk
- salted butter or unsalted butter + pinch of salt
- salt and pepper
Prepare the soup
- Prepare vegetables : remove seeds and skin of pumpkin, cut slices or cubes. Peel and mince onion.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Fry onion for a few minutes. Add pumpkin, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add water to 2/3rd of the height and cook for another 10 minutes.
Prepare gingerbread croutons
- While the soup is cooking, caramelize gingerbread croutons.
- Heat salted butter in a frying pan.
- Meanwhile, cut gingerbread into cubes.
- Pan fry gingerbread over medium heat to get golden croutons then set aside.
Mix the soup
- When vegetables are well cooked, remove a bit of cooking water but don’t throw it away. Mix in the blender or with a hand mixer.
- Add crème fraîche, taste and adjust seasoning. Depending on the consistency you get, if it’s too thick, pour back in some cooking water you removed earlier and mix again,
- Serve the soup with gingerbread croutons, grated parmesan and additional crème fraîche aside or dress individual bowls : Pour soup in, dizzle crème fraîche (or not ;-) ), add a few gingerbread croutons, grate parmesan and / or any other topping you like.
Bon appétit !