Peel and finely slice the shallots. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the pumpkin and cut the flesh into cubes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the shallots. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes over a low heat. Add the pumpkin and the water to the pan, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the cream and bring back to the boil. Use a hand blender or food processor to blend the mixture until smooth. Keep the soup warm over a bain-marie.
Use a stainless steel serving ring to cut a disc from each slice of bread. Use a slightly smaller ring or pastry cutter to cut the centre from the disc, creating a ring of bread. Place the rings in a non-stick pan and toast under a grill for 1 minute on each side. Break a quail's egg into the centre of each ring and then cook under the grill for a further 2 minutes.
Pour the soup into bowls and place a quail's egg toast on top of each one. Finish with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
«Use a small pairing knife to open the quail's eggs.»