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Oh I have posts!

September 17, 2009

I have so many posts swirling around in my head, as well as photos loaded into my computer and camera, I feel like a bottleneck has developed in my brain stem.  Can’t get them all out to my fingertips, to the keyboard, to the computer…

So, in lieu of waiting one more minute to have time to write the most elegant post in the history of blogging, I present to you: croutons.

It is quickly becoming soup season around here.  Cold, rainy, blustery days are not far off.  One of my favorite things to make is a pureed vegetable soup which contains spinach, potatoes, leeks, carrots, water and olive oil.  Oh, and salt.  Never forget the salt.  It’s really that simple.  You boil the bejeezus out of those veggies, blend in batches, and enjoy a hearty yet creamy soup that is the brilliant color of grass, depending upon how much spinach you add.  In reality, it tastes like potato and leek soup, with a lot of added nutritional benefits.  Delicious.

And yet, I cannot eat a bowl of this soup without some homemade garlic croutons.  My first real attempt at croutons came with the help of Todd English and one of his cookbooks, The Olives Table.  However, I am proud to announce that just the other day, while preparing an entirely different meal, I cubed up a quickly hardening loaf of French bread, drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled with freshly chopped garlic and shredded paremsan, salt and pepper and placed in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.  Until there was a nice golden hue to the cubes of bread.  Totally free form.  I know.  I really am impressive.  Croutons of all things.

Now, here they are adorning a bowl of roasted red pepper and tomato soup.  Because I don’t have any of the pureed vegetable soup that I just described.  But, never fear.  That’s what weekends are for.  Catching up on all the recipes I didn’t have time for during the week.

Taking soup to the next dimension

Taking soup to the next dimension

 

For those of you who want a recipe, too bad.  Really, if I can do this without one, so can you.  Get yourself:

a loaf of French bread, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
3-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (use your tastebuds as a guide and please don’t use pre-minced, jarred garlic)
a few Tablespoons of good quality olive oil (don’t be afraid to pour into a spoon and drizzle right on the bread after it’s cubed)
generous sprinkling of salt
pepper to taste (I’m not a fan, so I don’t go overboard on this)
a block of Parmesan cheese and a zester/grater.  Go to town on this, use as much as you see fit

Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F until nice and golden.  Stir the cubes a bit during baking to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and enjoy in a salad, soup, scrambled eggs, as a snack…you name it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 7, 2009 7:19 pm

    I love any recipe that tells me “boil the bejeezus” out of anything, because that’s how I instruct and relate. Soups are my favorite and my specialty anyway. “Throw in a knob of that butter over there” is a valid measurement, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been craving potato soup and I’ve got some leeks on death row. Sounds like a weekend plan. Oh, and when I have french bread on death row and want croutons, I make ’em with Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle. It’s the devil’s spice, I tell you, because I’ll eat the bowl of croutons like popcorn. It’s very rude of me.

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