23 May 2011

sunday soup garnish, homemade croutons


I did make soup this week, but it was such a hodgepodge that I can't remember exactly what I used or how much. There was red potato, plus some carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, sea salt, pepper, light cream and my secret soup ingredient: a spoonful of prepared tomato sauce. I sauteed the onion and garlic and then simmered them with the potato, carrot and spices in homemade veggie stock. I blended it up and added the cream and my not-so-secret-anymore ingredient. It was the perfect non-recipe to clean out the fridge and keep me warm during a very rainy week here in New York. What is even better, though, are these homemade croutons.

We left the bakery this weekend with lemon & pine nut scones, spinach & pecan pesto focaccia with chevre and a sourdough baguette baked the day before. And a bag of this crazy good Gatherer's Granola. We dug into everything pretty quickly and decided we would use the baguette for croutons, a perfect soup accompaniment or anytime snack.


Rosemary & Thyme Croutons
Ingredients
  • one day-old baguette
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt
  • 2-3 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice your baguette into one-inch chunks and spread out on a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add in the the thyme and rosemary and cook for about a minute to let the butter absorb the flavors. Turn off the heat and slowly drizzle the herb butter mixture over the chunks of bread, being sure each one gets some loving. Sprinkle with salt and the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the croutons are golden on all sides. Eat them straight out of the oven, on soup, salads or use them for bruchetta or tiny crostini.
This is one of those things that I almost didn't post because you all probably make your own croutons all the time because DUH, it's so obvious and easy. Like homemade vegetable stock, which I only starting making with any consistency a year ago. But in case there are any others out there who, like me, are easily impressed by simple kitchen recipes, try making your own croutons. They are a thousand times better than what you can buy in the store and they are a superb way to use up some older bread.

4 comments:

  1. Mmm... I'm definitely adding this to my baking queue!

    I think the dishes that are slapped together are sometimes the best. Dave and I did a "shit-ton" (excuse my language, there really is no other way to put it) of yardwork this weekend, and last night I could barely think about cooking. So I just took whatever was around (box of orzo, some chicken sausage, broccoli, red onion, chicken stock, mozzarella), slapped it all together with some red wine/lemon vinagrette, and it turned out pretty good. I wish I had made these croutons to go with it, though! I love all of your kitchen wizardry :)

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  2. I usually have to follow a recipe because the boyfriend just doesn't appreciate a good casserole, but I may try to sneak in a soup recipe like yours...maybe with the croutons he won't know the difference!

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  3. Rosemary makes everything better . . .

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  4. I TOTALLY needed this tutorial. Thank you. I have a loaf of Miles-friendly bread, that isn't Miles-friendly any longer (has eggs in it) and I didn't know what to do with it.... Hello crunchy bits of love on my salads. THANK YOU! - Chris

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