Soup Pen (Soup Pain or Bread Soup) is known as one of the best go-to soups for sickness – and for good reasons. It is filled with good sources of nutrients and is incredibly easy to prepare.
We all love Haitian cuisine for its rich flavors of onions, garlic, cloves, and peppers. While it’s true that the daily meals are incomplete without the special spice mix, epis, there are many soups that fulfill the hunger pangs.
One of the Haitian soups is the Haitian bread soup, which is commonly known as Soup Pain or soup pen depending on which region you come from.
It’s a great option for people who prefer egg-free soups. And for those looking for an immune boost.
What is Haitian Bread Soup, Soup Pain?
Bread soups are an important part of Haitian cuisine as black rice is, and Haitian people love to devour it when they are sick. This is because the soup is loaded with veggies, making it a delicious yet nutritious option.
In fact, many Haitians consider it the equivalent of chicken soup. This soup can be made with loaves and crusty bread (Do not make the mistake of using nut-infused or fruity bread as it will ruin the dish).
In addition to the common vegetables, some will add smoked herrings to the soup to enhance the flavor. It is cooked in a heavy bottom pan because the flavors from the ingredients are dispersed well into the soup and create a flavorful crust.
Soup Pain (soup pen–bread soup) is often served as a hearty meal in Haiti, especially in the morning for breakfast, or during the very light colder months.
At times, depending on the region, it’s made and served during celebrations, such as weddings and or during not-so-ideal gatherings – like the passing of a loved one.
What Is So Unique About Soup Pain?
Haitian bread soup is one of the most mouth-watering soups one can ever try, next to this vegan soup joumou, of course!
It’s a great option for vegetarians because it only has vegetables, such as garlic, onion, leeks – if you are in the US, tomatoes, and parsley to name a few. However, some people like adding carrots, watercress, and spinach as well.
It’s suitable for when you are sick or just want a comforting and hearty meal.
What To Pair with Haitian Bread Soup (Soup Pen)?
One extra large bowl of this soup can have approximately 1,432 calories (depending on what’s included). but there is a lot of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, iron, protein, vitamin C, and fiber that’s included in the soup.
To make it more nutritious and delicious, we recommend serving it with Caesar salad, cheesy garlic bread, cheese roll-ups, or garlic bread sticks. Not to forget, it tastes oh-so-amazing with sweet kale salad if you want a full meal.
KEY INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE THIS SOUP
Bread Option – We do not recommend you use fruity or nutty bread. If you are to use a sweetbread, the best option is to use Nature’s Own Honey Whole Wheat Bread as the sweet flavor is not as pronounced and will not alter the flavor of the soup. If you are gluten-free, you can also use this gluten-free bread.
Liquid – For this recipe we used water. However, you can use low-sodium vegetable broth or stock.
Vegetables – The vegetables added to this soup add flavor, serve as a substitute for meat, and provide great nutritional value.
This soup is loaded with not only flavor but healthy ingredients to help your body fight off common colds.
- Start by washing your hands first. This soup is very much involved, sure you can wear gloves when handling the ingredients, especially the bread. Washing your hands first prevents you from adding unnecessary germs to the soup (bread).
- Start with prepping your bread. This includes placing the bread in the bowl covered with water and using your hands to break the bread apart.
- Prep your ingredients prior to starting to cook the soup. This bread soup doesn’t take long to cook. Therefore, prepping your ingredients ahead of time is essential to the overall cooking process of this soup.
- If this is your first time, we recommend you keep an eye on the soup and cook the soup between medium and medium-low temperatures as you do not want to burn the soup.
Leftover Storing Options
Since this soup has bread, storing it in the refrigerator will thicken its texture – it’s just a heads-up.
To store the Haitian bread soup, you can transfer the cooled-down soup to an airtight container and put it in a refrigerator for three to four days. However, if you want to store the soup for over three months, just transfer the soup to a freezer-safe bag and put it in the freezer.
If you want to reheat the frozen or refrigerated soup, just use medium-low heat on the stove and keep stirring to ensure proper heating.
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How To Make Soup Pen (Haitian Bread Soup)
- 4 Slices White Bread
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 4 Garlic Cloves; minced
- 1 Roma Tomato; chopped, leave the seeds
- 2 Heaping Handfuls of Fresh Spinach; chopped
- ½ Cup Chopped Onions
- 1 Celery Stalk; thinly sliced or dice
- Juice From 1 Lemon
- 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 6 Cups Water
- 1 Tbsp. Dry Basil or 3-5 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- Prep the bread and vegetables: Start by cutting the bread, chopping, slicing, and dicing the fresh parsley, tomato garlic cloves, spinach, onions, and celery stalk. Place the ingredients aside.Juice the lemon. And set aside the tomato paste, olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste), bay leaves, water, dry (or fresh) basil, paprika, and red pepper flakes.In a large bowl, place the cut-up bread in the bowl with two cups of water. With a clean hand, mush the bread in the water. Set it aside.In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, add the Olive oil and when heated over medium heat, add the onions. Cook the onions for about 30 seconds to 45 seconds; stirring constantly to avoid burning, then add the celery and garlic cloves. Stir and let it cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the basil and stir, then add the paprika, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Continue stirring to combine and allow it to cook for about 30-45 seconds. Next, deglaze with about ¼ cup water while stirring. Add 1 cup water and stir. Then add 2 cups water.Add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste, lemon juice, 1 cup water, spinach, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves.Stir well to combine and reduce the heat to medium.Allow the Haitian Soup (Soup pain/soup pen) to cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and enjoy.
That sounds and looks delicious. I’m definitely going to try it
Love the authentic Haitian flavors, and the bread makes this soup so comforting!
What a comforting dish for the winter. I love the flavors here…sounds warming and delicious!
This fantastic soup is bursting with such great flavors. I can’t wait to dig into a big bowl.
This is the soup that I needed! It’s cold and snowy where I’m at and I’m just getting over a cold. Thank you for the delicious recipe!