We’re coming to the end of week 1 of the UK’s semi-lockdown! I say semi-lockdown as the measures are nowhere near as strict as they have been in Italy, although I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to that point at some point in near future. Londoners are still getting used to the fact that they cannot simply pop out for a coffee catch-up with friends and supermarkets are still dealing with mass crowds and stock-piling! I have been focussing on using up my supplies, bulk cooking and freezing food for later down the line to avoid going to the supermarket as much as possible.
I made my leek & potato soup this week, and wanted to serve it up with some croutons – to avoid going to buy some, I had some leftover sourdough that was getting a little stale and needed to be used. Within 20 minutes I had freshly baked croutons ready to serve up. So, what perfect way to use up the final slices of your bread rather than letting it go to waste! I used sourdough for my croutons, but any loaves will do – you could even use thick sliced bread, I would just leave it to dry out a little before hand.
You can also jazz these up with whatever herbs you have to hand, or you can even keep them simple if you weren’t able to get hold of any. Fresh and dried herbs worked well – I only had fresh rosemary so that’s what I went with! These croutons are perfect not just in a soup, but in a salad or mixed in with fresh tomatoes, olives, green beans, red onion and basil! So so delicious!
Top tip! Make sure you don’t overcrowd your baking tray, you want to allow enough space for the croutons to crisp up and you don’t want them to go soggy. Also, everyones ovens are different, I start checking on my croutons after 20 minutes and give them a little shake before continuing in 5 minute bursts until I am satisfied with how golden they look. I strongly advise you do the same!
Serves: 4 people
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients 150g Sourdough, slightly stale 1/4 cup Olive oil 2 Tbsp Rosemary (fresh/dried), finely chopped 1 Tbsp Salt 1 Tsp Pepper 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180℃/ 160℃ Fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the sourdough into 1 inch chunks and place in a mixing bowl.
Pour the olive oil all over the sourdough chunks, and sprinkle over the rosemary, salt and pepper. Using a spoon (or your hands) ensure all the sourdough chunks are completely coated in the oil. Add a touch extra if needed.
Lay the seasoned sourdough chunks on the lined baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and if desired, an extra sprinkling of sea salt flakes.
Bake for 20 minutes, then check and give the tray a shake, continue to bake in 5 minute intervals until the sourdough chunks are nice and golden.
Serve immediately, or allow to cool and store in an air tight container for 2-3 days.