Bread and Squash Soup

Pain Bouilli à la Courge

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

A clean, invigorating flavor, exciting and subtle—perfect for a winter evening and a far cry from the banal Lyonnaise version, which is pumpkin boiled in water, finished with milk, and served with crusts and grated cheese apart (Bocuse has launched a rich and picturesque variation that involves cutting out a lid, seeding the pumpkin, filling it with alternate layers of grilled bread slices and grated Gruyère, salt, and pepper, pouring heavy cream to the brim and baking in the oven for 2 hours).


  • 2 pounds pumpkin or other winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • cups boiling water
  • Salt
  • 2 ounces stale bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Parsley or fresh basil


Add the squash and the garlic to the salted, boiling water and cook, covered, at a light boil, for 25 or 30 minutes or until the squash is purée-soft. Throw in the bread, leave to simmer for a couple of minutes longer, put the contents of the pan through a sieve or vegetable mill, taste for salt, grind in some pepper, reheat, and stir in the olive oil at the moment of serving. The soup may be garnished with finely chopped parsley or, in season, fresh basil leaves, torn into tiny pieces.