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    Make soup your own with home-made croutons

    Make soup your own with home-made croutons

    Home-made beat store-bought croutons every time. They are nearly as easy as toast to make, and fresh ingredients will make your croutons delicious. In my kitchen I pair the Parmesan Crisps with Tuscan Sipping Soup. Polenta Croutons with Moroccan Sipping Soup. Grilled Cheese Croutons with Chipotle Sipping Soup, and Tofu Croutons with Masala Sipping Soup. The torn bread croutons are delicious on soup or salad.

    PARMESAN CRISPS

    Ingredients

    1 cup of grated parmesan

    1/2 tspn black pepper or your favorite dried herb, optional

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Spoon tablespoons of parmesan onto a parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down, spacing the spoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Srinkle with pepper or herbs, if using.
    3. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool.

     

    POLENTA CROUTONS

    Ingredients

    16-18  oz tube of precooked polenta, cut into bite-size pieces

    1 tbsp olive oil

    1/8 tsp salt

    1/8 tsp ground black pepper

    1/4 tsp dried thyme, parsley or oregano

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
    2. In a bowl, toss cubed polenta, olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme until completely covered. 
    3. Place polenta onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until polenta cubes are browned on both sides.

      

    GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS 

    Ingredients

    4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    4 ounces Gruyere or Cheddar cheese, grated

    Directions

    1. Heat a panini grill or skillet.  Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up. 
    2. Grill the sandwiches for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through, until nicely browned.  Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes. 

     

    FRENCH OR SOURDOUGH BREAD CROUTONS

    Ingredients

    Day old French bread

    Olive oil

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

    Directions

    1. Tear bread into crouton size.
    2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium low heat. Add bread cubes and stir well. Let cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.

     

     

    TOFU CROUTONS

    Ingredients 

    1/2 lb firm tofu

    2 tablespoon cornstarch

    ¼ cup vegetable oil

    Salt

    Directions

    1. Wrap tofu in paper towels, place in colander, and press with bowl and weights to squeeze out extra liquid for up to half an hour.
    2. Cut tofu into cubes, and dust in cornstarch.
    3. Pour the oil into a pre-heated saute pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, if needed, fry the tofu for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu and place on paper towels.
    4. Season with salt.

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