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This Chocolate Soup is the best soup you’ll ever have! It has a thick, creamy texture and a rich chocolate taste that is enhanced by the buttery cinnamon croissant croutons, and the whipped vanilla bean crème fraiche.
So if you’re anything like me—and I know that you are, that’s why we’re such good friends—you’re basically always craving chocolate, but you’re also always trying to trick other people into thinking you’re healthy.
“Oh, I couldn’t possibly have a cookie right now,” you say, lying through your teeth, “I just taught three spin classes and had my second kale smoothie of the morning. I’m stuffed!” Meanwhile, your interior monologue is basically “Cookiecookiecookiecookiecookiecookiecookiecookiecookieeeeee!”
Good news, sweet teeth. I’ve found a loophole!
Meet chocolate soup, your new best friend. It’s basically ultra-rich and creamy hot chocolate, with a few tweaks, served in a bowl with cinnamon croissant croutons and vanilla bean whipped crème fraiche. It’s for serious chocolate lovers only. It’s heaven in a bowl. And it’s the best excuse ever, because if anyone asks, you’re skipping dessert and instead having seconds of “soup.” Because you are just that healthy.
There are a lot of different chocolate soup recipes out there, ranging from recipes that looked like weak hot chocolate (boooo!) to ones that contained 1/3 cup cornstarch or more (ick!). Most recipes seemed to agree that some sort of thickening agent was needed, to make the soup more hearty than regular hot chocolate, and corn starch was most often the thickener of choice.
I have nothing against corn starch, and in fact I used a little bit in this recipe, but only a few spoonfuls. I didn’t want my soup to taste gummy or starchy, two dangers of cornstarch use. So instead, I thickened my soup with a bit of starch and a bit of egg yolks, the common thickener in puddings and custards that makes them so rich. Mixing the two means that I got the best of both worlds (thickness and richness) without tipping too far into excess and winding up with chocolate gloop.
Oh, and the other secret to getting thick chocolate soup? CHOCOLATE. Lots and lots of it—in fact, I used a pound for one recipe, which is 6-8 servings. You can reduce it down to 12 oz if you like, but as long as I’m literally eating FREAKING CHOCOLATE SOUP FROM A BOWL, I’m going to make it as epic as I can.
I was a little bit worried that the chocolate would be just way too intense, so I decided to temper it by adding some orange flavor. I infused the milk for the chocolate soup with the zest of an orange for an hour, to give it a bright, fruity note that worked well with the somewhat bitter chocolate. If you’re not a chocolate-orange person, you can leave it out and have just plain chocolate soup, or add a spoonful of your favorite flavoring extract.
In defense of the chocolate-orange choice, those flavors worked very nicely with the toppings for the soup: cinnamon-sugar croissant “croutons,” and vanilla bean whipped crème fraiche. The croutons couldn’t be easier: toss crouton cubes with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and bake until golden. The hardest part is not eating them straight from the oven, because they’re going to make your house smell amazing and you’re only human, aren’t you? There’s no shame in going back and making a second batch because you nibbled too many from the first batch. So I’ve been told. By friends. Ahem.
The vanilla bean whipped crème fraiche is another super-easy kitchen hack—just combine cream and crème fraiche, add some vanilla bean paste, and whip until it’s pillowy and light, like shaving cream. The crème fraiche gives it a lovely, slightly tangy flavor, and makes it more robust and less likely to turn into grainy soup at the slightest whiff of overbeating.
It should come as no surprise that this is a really intensely, richly chocolatey dessert, best served in small bowls about half the size of the ones picture here. (Do as I say, not as I do!) It’s a fabulous, unexpected dessert, perfect for the chilly winter months the rest of you are enjoying. And if you make it, don’t hesitate to brag to your early-morning yoga class that you have so much energy because “I ate nothing but a simple soup last night. Ommmmm.”
Chocolate Soup With Croissant Croutons
For the Chocolate Soup:
- 1 orange
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Croissant Croutons:
- 2 large croissants
- 1 oz unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Whipped Crème Fraiche:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
To Make the Chocolate Soup:
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the orange part of the rind, leaving the bitter white pith on the fruit. Combine the orange rind, milk, and half-and-half in a large saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer, with bubbles appearing along the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid. Let it sit to infuse the orange flavor in the milk, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, depending on how strong you want the orange flavor to be.
- While you are waiting for your cream to infuse, finely chop the semi-sweet chocolate. Mix the cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is entirely dissolved. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl nearby.
- Once the cream has infused for your desired time, return the pan to the heat, and bring it back until it is nearly at a simmer—you want it hot but not boiling. Add the chopped chocolate, and whisk consistently until it melts. Add the cornstarch and whisk it in. Finally, start whisking the egg yolks, and as you do that, drizzle in about a cup of the hot chocolate milk mixture—adding the hot milk gradually “tempers” the egg yolks so that they don’t cook and congeal.
- Finally, whisk the hot chocolate mixture in the pan as you drizzle in the bowl of egg yolks. Add the salt and vanilla, and cook the chocolate soup, whisking frequently, until it is very hot and thickens slightly. It should have the texture of a nice creamy soup.
- Serve warm, topped with a handful of croissant croutons and a generous dollop of crème fraiche whipped cream.
To Make the Croissant Croutons:
- Preheat the oven to 300 F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the croissants into small cubes. Place the butter in a large bowl, and microwave it for 15 seconds, or until melted.
- Add the croissants to the butter in the bowl, and toss to coat. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle the mixture over the croissants and toss everything together. Scatter the croissant cubes on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 300 F for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the croutons are lightly golden and crunchy. Cool completely, then enjoy!
To Make the Whipped Crème Fraiche:
- Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Combine the heavy cream, crème fraiche, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste or extract in the chilled bowl. Beat on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl once or twice, until the mixture is thickened and holds firm peaks. Don’t overbeat, or it will get grainy!
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
Croissant croutons?? That is genius! I keep meaning to make the chocolate soup recipe in a cookbook I bought recently, which used pound cake croutons–I think I like this idea better though 🙂
I must admit my interior monologue is similar to “cookiecookiecookiecookie”…that made me laugh 😀
You, me, and cookie monster, apparently!
You are a culinary genius! My Mom made us Chocolate Rice for breakfast growing up. This reminds me of her.
Chocolate Rice?! I need to hear more about that, it sounds right up my alley!
Thanks for leaving no stone unturned, Elizabeth! I’ll be honest, I do not necessarily buy into the hype of chocolate+orange. I prefer chocolate+chocolate. But I know it’s super popular and it seems like people genuinely like it, PLUS it makes the soup healthier with the added vitamin C! And other antioxidants. I have no doubt. So maybe I should add the orange after all because then my soup will be wayyyyy healthier. And if pressed for details by my personal trainer I can always say I was eating “fruit soup.” Because it has orange in it. FREAKING CHOCOLATE SOUP FROM A BOWL! My husband is going to die. Not literally, but more like figuratively with joy. Keep up the good work, lassie! And how glad are we that we don’t live anywhere with cold weather?! Loving LA. And I don’t say that too often. 🙂
Haha! I love that logic! Tons of Vitamin C plus heart-healthy antioxidants, right? This is basically a health food, and maybe people will start eating it instead of the cabbage soup diet. 🙂 And YES, the LA weather has been insane lately! 80 degrees what?!
croissant croutons?!?! you she-devil, you!! those would definitely not make it past my mouth and into my chocolate soup. not a chance. that said, I would most definitely feast on chocolate soup separately, with my pinky in the air of course, because it feels like hot chocolate’s much classier cousin! YUM.
Haha, I don’t know if I’ve ever been called a she-devil before. I’ll take it!
Hahahahaha! Your posts ALWAYS crack me up. Girl, you crazy. Chocolate soup? Now that is crazy talk, you know this! So just hand me the bowl (with a spoon please), back away slowly and I’ll just quietly take care of this Chocolate Soup ‘problem’. Hahahaha! Mmmmm, that’s good! LOL. Pinned!
They call her The Fixer…The Dessert Fixer, that is!
Love the loop hole! Quick question…we don’t have half and half in Australia. Any suggestions for substitutions? what is its consistancy like?
Hi Lisa, I was just in the USA and I would say half and half is similar to our whole milk. Nice and creamy!
Hi Lisa! It’s kind of like a blend of milk and cream–more fat than milk, less than cream. You can sub in whole milk or just use a mix of milk and cream (maybe two parts milk to one part cream) to approximate the results.
Oh yes, THIS is chocolate soup. Thick and creamy – not like the kind at (AHEM) Ryan Gosling’s restaurant which is really just chocolate milk.
Oooh, the celebrity call-out! I love it! Like, why bother putting chocolate milk in a bowl? Get out of here with that, Ryan.
What what?! Chocolate freakin’ soup WITH croissant croutons….I die! You leave me speechless here…all I could think of is “get into ma bellyyyyyy!”
Chocolate SOUP?! Elizabeth, you need to open a cafe/bakery/hole-in-the-wall. These are the ideas of a genius!
Oh sweet temptation.. 🙂
Uhh say what, 1/3 cup cornstarch? No thank you, I’m so glad you set the chocolate soup world straight with this recipe! It looks absolutely amazing and let’s be honest, totally counts as a second appetizer. I cracked up with your kale smoothie line. #truth Preach it girl, we all need some of this in our lives! 🙂
Oh yes. I’m thinking hot chocolate has cheated us all along. We could have had spoons! And croutons! I have letters to write. And Congresswomen to call.
Beautiful work, as always!
Awesome recipe – I’m wondering….does this soup freeze and defrost well?
Can I replace the chocolate with cocoa?
fantastic! rich, creamy, and fun to make! the croutons and whipped creme fraiche are perfect for this soup. made this for company and it was a big hit!
This sounds amazing–particularly the cinnamon croissant croutons. You could sub in cinnamon and a bit of chili to make Mexican Chocolate Soup (or use Mexican chocolate or some other chocolate with chilis)–perfect for that Cinco de Mayo party!
Has anyone tried keeping this warm in a crock pot? How did it work?
Hey Karyn, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. My guess would be if you keep it on warm for one to two hours you should be fine, probably not longer than that!
Made this tonight to rave reviews. Will definitely make again, even if that vanilla bean paste is crazy expensive! 😛
And OMG those croutons! I’m almost glad I had “too many” croissants – now I have an excuse to make more! Can totally just eat them by themselves.
Hey Sherelle, I am thrilled to hear how much it was enjoyed! Thank you for your feedback, I am right there with ya!:)
Wow a big hit at the end of our soup night gathering of yoga friends. Delicious and comforting and impressive. I made the croutons, whipped topping and milk infusion in advance and put the soup altogether in about 15 minutes as guest conversed after the main meal. I only wish I had waited to whip the topping until the end as it had already started to separate in the two hours in the fridge. Everyone loved the presentation and the taste evoked the warm memory of licking the spoon from homemade chocolate pudding as a child.
Hi Robin! Your comment just melted my heart and made me want to get a spoonful of homemade pudding! So glad this was a hit for soup night!
making this for a luncheon with my friends. How far ahead can I make this and how is this best done? Can I make the chocolate then let it go to room temp until I need to rewarm it?
Hi Kelly. A luncheon with friends sounds delightful! I would say you could make this 4-5 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Because it has dairy and eggs in it, I wouldn’t leave it at room temperature for an extended amount of time (an hour max). I hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions.